Japan Tour plays final event of 2013
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2013 Golf Nippon Series JT Cup | Preview | 03 Dec 2013
The final event of the 2013 Japan Golf Tour, the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, begins Thursday at its long time venue in the suburbs of Tokyo, the Tokyo Yomiuri Country Club, where a limited field of 30 of tournament winners and leading money winners to face the starter.
The hot favourite to continue his unbelievable rookie season is Hideki Matsuyama who just eight months after playing his first professional event is now the 23rd world ranked player.
Matsuyama won his 4th tournament of the season last week at the Casio World Open but in addition he has been twice runner-up, twice inside the top ten in major championships and finished 3rd at the Frys.Com on the PGA Tour.
The man who might well be Matsuyama’s biggest challenger this week may well be the man who has won this event in each of the last three years, Hiroyuki Fujita, who although not having the best of season’s on the Japan Tour in 2013 could still be a factor.
Another man likely to do well this week is Korean golfer Kyung Tae Kim who seems to be returning to the sort of form that made him a Presidents Cup player in 2011.
Kim has played this event well in past years and although he has not won since September of 2012 he might be a chance to defeat Matsuyama or Fujita.
Australasians in the field are Brad Kennedy and New Zealander Michael Hendry who is currently in 72nd position on the money list but who gets a start in this week’s event courtesy of his win at the NZPGA Championship earlier this year.
The limited field this week means there is guaranteed money even for finishing last and that money appears enough for Hendry to force his way into the top 70 and retain his status for 2014.