Brendan Jones is back where his 16-year love affair with Japan first took hold as he headlines the Australian contingent at the Mynavi ABC Championship at ABC Golf Club in Hyogo.
Fellow Aussies joining Jones in the field this week are David Bransdon, Won Joon Lee, Anthony Quayle, Todd Sinnott and Scott Strange, who will all be eager to emulate the performance of a then-27-year-old Jones.
In his second season in Japan, Jones captured the first of what would be 14 Japan Golf Tour victories to date, five of which have come in Hyogo.
Known in 2002 as the Philip Morris KK Championship, it marked the start of what has been a happy association with the ABC Golf Club where Jones was top-25 in 2003, 2006 and 2007 and top-10 in 2014 and 2015. He and Brian Jones (1989) are the only Australians to have tasted success at the time-honoured tournament and given he was top-10 at the Japan Open a fortnight ago, must fancy his chances of once again triumphing.
For the rest of the Australian contingent, the 96-player field provides a further opportunity to improve their standing on the Japan Golf Tour moneylist. Currently sitting 40th and 41st respectively on the moneylist, Lee and Quayle come in after mixed results last week at the Bridgestone Open where Lee missed the cut and Quayle fought hard to post a 69 in the final round and tie for 37th.
Thirteen spots behind Quayle, Bransdon missed the cut on the number last week and needs some good performances in the coming weeks to shore up his card for next year. Strange is currently 116th on the moneylist and Sinnott 197th.
• The Asian Tour is back in India this week for the Panasonic Open India at Delhi Golf Club where 10 Australians will be hoping to join Wade Ormsby in the history books.
The South Australian is the only international victor since the tournament’s inception in 2011 but there are a group of Aussies ready to contend this week.
Jake Higginbottom is carrying the momentum of a win after his victory at the Coca-Cola Waratah Pro-Am with a superb round of six-under 65 on Monday, with Matt Stieger who is also in the field in India this week two shots back in a tie for second.
Other Australians teeing it up at Delhi Golf Club are Terry Pilkadaris, Andrew Martin, Steven Jeffress, Adam Blyth, Maverick Antcliff, David Gleeson, Marcus Both and Kunal Bhasin.