Brendan Jones out of Panasonic Open
BY Bruce Young | Asian Tour | 2013 Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open | 24 Sep 2013
The Japan Golf Tour heads south to Osaka this week for the staging of the Asia Pacific Panasonic Open, an event co-sanctioned between the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour.
The event, now into its sixth year, has returned to the Rees Jones redesigned Ibaraki Country Club for the first time since its inaugural staging in 2007. The layout underwent the remodelling in 2011 so the field will face a considerably different venue to that faced by the field in 2007 when won by Hideto Tanihara.
A win in the event allows access to the Asian Tour for a Japan Tour player and to the Japan Tour for an Asian Tour player although to date only Tetsuji Hiratsuka has won the event as an Asian Tour player.
Brendan Jones is the only non Japanese winner of the event, the Australian winning the tournament in 2010. Jones is suffering injury issues at present having withdrawn from last week’s ANA Open through five holes of round two. Jones was suffering from shoulder and wrist problems. He has withdrawn from this week’s event and is heading back to Canberra to have further consultation on his wrist.
The injury comes at a bad time of the year for Jones with a series of lucrative events on the Japan Golf Tour over the next two months.
Japan’s hottest player right now, Hideki Matsuyama, the world number 30, is another of the leading money winners to not be playing the event as he prepares for a debut appearance at the Presidents Cup in Ohio next week. He has clearly learnt from the hard lesson of Ryo Ishikawa who played the week before the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne two years ago, was delayed getting out of Japan and struggled in the early stages of that event.
Given the co sanctioning nature of the event, there is a large contingent of Australasians in the field despite the absence of Jones.
David Gleeson, Scott Strange, Marcus Both, Brad Kennedy, Wade Ormsby, Kieran Pratt, Darren Beck, Scott Barr, Cameron Smith, and New Zealanders Ryan Fox, Peter Lee will play the event.
Current Australian Amateur Champion, Smith, turned professional two months ago and gets to play his first event as a professional in Japan.
Ryan Fox is in the field courtesy of a victory at one of the events in the Pacific Islands and 18 year old NZ amateur Peter Lee has lucked out on an invitation to the event.