Strong line-up from Japan at Asian Tour International

March 11th, 2008 - 4:12 pm ICT by admin  


Bangkok, March 11 (IANS) A strong line-up from the Japan Golf Tour will head to the Asian Tour International from March 20 to 23 here. Chinese Taipei’s Yeh Wei-tze and Japanese stalwarts Takuya Taniguchi, Nozomi Kawahara, Tatsuhiko Ichihara and Jun Kimuchi, who have all tasted victory in Japan, will take on their counterparts from the Asian Tour at the Pattana Golf and Sports Resort.

The inaugural $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 vying 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 players, Ichihara 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 would ensure an exciting week of golf for fans in Thailand. Norquist said: “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.”

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