Sung Joon Park gets chance in Nagoya
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2013 Coca-Cola Tokai Classic | Preview | 02 Oct 2013
With the Japan Tour’s star turn in Ohio this week representing the Internationals against the Americans, the Coca Cola Tokai Classic begins Thursday in Nagoya without it’s latest drawcard, Hideki Matsuyama, but the Tour’s second hottest player Sung Joon Park and most of the other leading money list players are in the field.
The leading world ranked player in the field however is the very impressive Peter Uilhein. The American has won one title and been twice runner-up this season in Europe including when beaten in a playoff at last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links event in Scotland. He is already ranked number 69 in the world.
Park has been four times runner-up in 2013 in addition to his victory at the KBC Augusta event in August and it was only a poor final round in this event last year that cost him another very high finish.
The event owes Park one in as much as he was disqualified after leading through two rounds three years ago at this venue. Interestingly Koreans have won this event in the past two years and there would be little surprise if Park was to make it three in a row.
Park spent several years in New Zealand where he was a member of the North Shore Golf Club during his formative golfing years and was known as Andrew when there.
Australasians in this week’s field are Kurt Barnes, Steve Conran, Michael Hendry and David Smail.
Australia’s leading player in Japan, Brendan Jones, is plagued by a wrist injury, the extent of which will be determined this week after scans in Canberra.
Also in the field is 16 year old Australian resdient Kota Kagasaki who bases himself at Hope Island where he is coached by Kevin Healey. A former World Junior Champion in his age group, Kagasaki gets his chance via invite in his homeland this week.