Tour stars to resume title hunt in Japan

Noda City, Chiba prefecture, Japan, March 24: The best players from the Asian Tour will head to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Panasonic OPEN Japan which will be staged at the Chiba Country Club, Umesato course in Noda City, Chiba prefecture from April 20 to 23.

More than 30 Tour winners from over 15 countries including India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia are set to tee off against a strong Japanese field that will also feature Hideto Tanihara and defending champion Yuta Ikeda from the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

Fresh off his heroics at his National Open, Chawrasia will be hoping to land another major scoop outside of India as he chases his seventh win on the Asian Tour.

The Indian also won the Panasonic OPEN India in 2014 and is looking forward to add another feather to his cap with another win at the same title sponsored event in Japan.

“I’m very happy with how things are at the moment. I just want to keep playing better. The pressure of winning aboard is definitely off after my victory in the Philippines last year,” said Chawrasia.

Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei

Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei

Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang, whose last visit to Japan ended with him lifting second Asian Tour title in Osaka last September, is also eyeing another victorious return to Japan.

“I always enjoy going over to Japan. The country holds special memories for me and it’ll be nice to go back and do well there again,” said Chan.

Chan has established himself as one of the stars to watch on the Asian Tour following his wins in Thailand and Japan which catapulted him to fourth place on the final Order of Merit ranking last season.

Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena together with China’s Liang Wen-chong and Thai hotshot Phachara Khongwatmai will also feature at the Panasonic OPEN Golf Championship which is one of four tournaments that will be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and JGTO in 2017.

Only 17, Phachara made headlines with his battling performance in Perth last month.

Despite finishing second there, the young Thai earned plaudits for his fighting spirit and displaying maturity beyond his age.

Currently third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, the fearless Phachara is riding high on confidence and ready to take on his older peers anytime.

Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand

Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand

“You know, when I play in tournaments, I don’t have a goal. I only hope to make the cut because I don’t want to give myself any pressure. It has been working for me so far so I will continue to focus on my own game,” said Phachara.

Panasonic Corporation which has supported the Olympic Games as an official worldwide partner for over 25 years, has also backed professional golf at the highest level in Asia through its title sponsorship of the Panasonic OPEN India since 2011 and the Panasonic OPEN Japan.

 

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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