ANA Open begins 12 week stretch in Japan
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2013 ANA Open | Preview | 18 Sep 2013
The Japan Golf Tour continues the latter half of its 2103 schedule this week when the ANA Open is played over the Sapporo Golf Club’s Wattsu layout near Sapporo in Hokkaido.
Twelve events remain between this week and the first week of December on the Japan Golf Tour providing a far greater continuity than has been the case over the first five months of the schedule thus far in 2013.
The ANA Open, so named because of the long term support of All Nippon Airways, one of Japan’s largest carriers, has been played at this venue for all but three of its stagings.
The defending champion is the prolific Japan Tour winner Hiroyuki Fujita who defeated a group of four players by one shot in 2012 that group including the 2011 winner, Kurt Barnes and 2010 winner Yuta Ikeda.
The pronounced favourite this week is the brilliant Hideki Matsuyama who in three weeks time will represent the Internationals at the Presidents Cup but who, in his first season as a professional, has taken all before him on the Japan Golf Tour.
Australasians in this week’s field are the 2011 champion Kurt Barnes, Brendan Jones, Brad Kennedy, Aaron Townsend, Ryan Haller and New Zealanders Michael Hendry and David Smail.
Barnes, currently in 123rd position on the money list, needs a few good events if he is to retain his status on the Japan Golf Tour without having to go back to Tour School.