Two years after leaving with his tail between his legs, Adam Scott returns to headline the Australian assault at the Japan Open to be played for the first time at Yokohama Country Club.
Making his fourth appearance in Japan’s national championship in the past five years, Scott is the highest-ranked of the eight Aussies in the field that includes amateur David Micheluzzi, fresh from representing Australia at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
A global ambassador for Japanese fashion label Uniqlo, Scott’s best finish in the Japan Open was his tie for seventh at Rokko Kokusai Golf Club in 2015 but was 10-over through two tough rounds at Sayama Golf Club to miss the cut in 2016.
As the Japan Golf Tour heads into its busiest and most lucrative time of the year, there are five Australians inside the top 40 on the moneylist, three of whom have been drawn to play together for the opening two rounds.
Seeking to become the first Australian to win the Japan Open since Paul Sheehan in 2006, Brad Kennedy, Brendan Jones and Anthony Quayle will play together over the first 36 holes at a layout which has recently undergone a transformation under the design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
Currently 26th on the moneylist and coming off a top-20 finish last start, Matthew Griffin is making his Japan Open debut this week while runner up at the recent TOP Cup Tokai Classic, Won Joon Lee, has finished in the top 15 in both of his past two Japan Open appearances.
Scott Strange rounds out the Aussie contingent at Yokohama, while New Zealand’s sole representative is Michael Hendry who was second at the Gateway to The Open Mizuno Open earlier in the year.
• With the US PGA Tour co-sanctioned CIMB Classic being played in Malaysia, the Asian Tour will also contest the UMA CNS Open Golf Championship this week where Asian Tour regular Marcus Both and 2014 Samoa Open champion Nabil Abdul will fly the Australian flag at Karachi Golf Club in India.