Japan Tour's rising sons head to Asian Tour International
A strong line-up of stars from the Japan Golf Tour will head full speed to the Asian Tour International from March 20 to 23.
Chinese Taipei’s Yeh Wei-tze and Japanese stars Takuya Taniguchi, Nozomi Kawahara, Tatsuhiko Ichihara and Jun Kimuchi, who have all tasted triumphs in Japan, will take on their counterparts from the Asian Tour at the Pattana Golf and Sports Resort.
The inaugural US$300,000 Asian Tour International, which is a full-field Asian Tour event, will see a total of 13 invited players from the Japan Golf Tour challenging for the title.
Yeh will renew old ties as he played previously on the Asian Tour before setting his base in Japan. The Chinese Taipei star made a name for himself in 2000 when he won the Malaysian Open against a stellar field that included Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington and Bernhard Langer, all Major champions.
The 35-year-old subsequently tried his hand in Europe for several seasons before winning twice in Japan where he is now firmly established as one of Chinese Taipei’s leading lights.
Ichihara, who finished in the top-five at the 2007 Asian Tour Qualifying School, will add to the array of Japanese stars hoping to make an impression at the Asian Tour International.
Rated as one of Japan’s rising sons, Ichirahara won the 2006 Yomiuri Memorial and has been tipped to add to his collection in the upcoming season in Japan.
Another highly rated Japanese, Hiroshi Iwata will be looking for a strong performance in Thailand after chalking up six top-10s that included three tied third finishes in Japan last season.
Gerry Norquist, the Asian Tour’s senior vice president, said the entries from Japan will ensure an exciting week of golf for fans in Thailand.
“The strong relationship that exists between the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation is creating the opportunity for the best players from both Tours to compete against each other.
“We are delighted to see that a strong contingent of 13 players from the Japan Golf Tour has signed up for the Asian Tour International and I am confident they will add tremendous value to the event in their chase to become the inaugural winner of the Asian Tour International.
“The Asian Tour International will showcase the best of Asian golf at Pattana Golf ad Sports Resort and I’m sure it will be a memorable week for the fans and players alike,” said Norquist.
The Asian Tour International will be the seventh leg on the Asian Tour schedule this season which is poised to offer a record 30 tournaments and over US$40 million in total prize money. It is also one of five new events that will make its debut this year.
March 11, 2008