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Hopefully we can have a thread to discuss the Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour & OneAsia Tours, and maybe any significance on the lower-profile tours of China, Korea & India.

I live in the area, and have great interest in all 3, particularly the fledgling OneAsia Tour, which basically is a joint venture between Korea, China & Australia, and kind-of Japan, but not as much as the other 3 countries.

It has HUGE, legal opposition from the already developed Asian Tour, which heavily fines it's players for playing one OneAsia. However, having attended a few OneAsia events, including last week's Thai Open, this smaller, new tour is far more transparent, and in my eyes, promising in terms of the future of golf in Asia. It's already on a par, or at least getting close to the Asian Tour in terms of prize money, and attracts many local stars, with a huge amount of exemptions for local players available in each tournament, including leading stars such as current Order of Merit Leader Liang Wen-Chong (8th Place in USPGA) and Japan's Shingo Katayama, and I'm sure OneAsia has a brighter future than the main Asian Tour, as things stand.

Meanwhile I'm a good follower of all Asian players across the World on the PGA & European Tours, and hopefully I can keep you all update etc!

This Week from Asia:
Japan Golf Tour:
Fujisankei Classic @ Fujizakura Country Club
Total Money: JP 110,000,000
Winner: JP 22,000,000
2009 Champion: Ryo Ishikawa
Field Includes: Ryo ishikawa, Shingo Katayama, Shunsuke Sonoda, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Toru Taniguchi, Yuta Ikeda, Shigeki Maruyama, Kyung-Tae Kim (KOR), Hiroyuki Fujita & Bae Sang-moon (KOR)
Asian Tour:
OMEGA European Masters (Co-Sanctioned by European Tour)
Total Money: E 2,000,000
Winner: E 333,330
2009 Champion: Alexander Noren
Field Includes: Many of Europe's leading Stars like Edoardo Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez & Louis Oosthuizen.
Asian Players in Event: Liang Wenchong (CHN), Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Seung-yul Noh (KOR), Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), Shiv Kapur (IND), Angelo Que (PHL), Chapchai Nirat (THA), Jyoti Randhawa (IND), Chih-bing Lam (SGP), Mardan Mamat (SGP), Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA), Ted Oh (KOR), Danny Chia (MYS), C Muniyappa (IND), SSP Chowrasia (IND), Lian Wei Zhang (CHN), Jin Jeong[AM] (KOR), Siddikur (BAN),
OneAsia Tour:
No Event.

I'd like to just point you in the directions of 'Siddikur' he became the first Bangladeshi winner of any Tour event last month at the Brunei Open on the Asian Tour, and is the first Bangladeshi player ever to play on the European Tour this week. Although he missed the cut today in Switzerland, it's a great moment as golf expand sinto another new country.

Liang Wenchong is one to watch; His last 5 starts: A win, and 4 Top 10's, including an 8th at the USPGA. Won last week in Thailand and is in blistering form. A Round of +5 yesterday saw him drop to the back of the field, but a fantastic round of -7 today means he easily makes the cut.

Sorry, if this is too long haha!
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I do wish the various asian tours did get picked up over here on TV.

I agree. I like watching the Euro Tour on the Golf Channel. The tournaments are live when I wake up in the morning so I tune in while eating my breakfast. I would like to see the Asian Tour boradcast too. Asia is the new market for golf and I figure we will be seeing more and more asian players on the PGA circuit. KJ Choi is very popular in the US already.

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Hey, according to the website, OneAsia is available on 'ESPN3 & America One in the United States' guys :)

Just an update; Round 3 of the FUjisankei Classic has just come to an end, and heading into the final round tomorrow, Ryo Ishikawa is 3 shots clear at the head of the leaderboard. He's been in mixed form since his stunning 58 at The Crowns earlier in the year and he said before the tournament he felt like this would be his week. He won this tournament last year also, so the odds are well in his favour now. Challengers to him this week include Toru Taniguchi in a tie for 2nd on -5 along with Ishikawa's old schoolmate, and equally as talented youngster Shunsuke Sonoda, and Thai player Kiradech Aphibarnrat, but I can't see any of those beating Ryo tomorrow.

In Europe at the co-sanctioned Omega masters;
Miguel Angel Jimenez shot the lowest round of his 27 year career with a 61, to race 3 shots clear, and Edoardo Molinari is up there again, a sis young Italian star Matteo Manassero.
However the Asian Players are doing good too. Sure, so a fair few were cut as was to be expected, including Siddikur who was overjoyed just to be playing this week, he had a huge smile on his face all day on the 3 occasions TV coverage showed him on the first day.
Liang Wenchong hit a blistering round of -7, after a poor first round of +5. He's -2 in total and around about T45th, he's one to watch, he's easily capable of two more rounds like that in his current form.
Chapchai Nirat of Thailand made the cut, and after 2 birdies in 2 holes already this morning, he's on -5 and in T19. Seung-yul Noh, the Korean star who's leading the Asian Tour money list is also on -5 after 2 rounds.

Thongchai Jaidee is through 8 holes already today and has carded an impressive 3 birdies, he's on -4 in total, T28.
Angelo Que of the Philippines is on -3, T50
Same as Chinnarat Phadungsil, -3 T50th also.

So there's 6 to watch!
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ISHIKAWA wins 8th Title, defends Fujisankei Classic
So Everyone, today Ryo Ishikawa won his 8th Career Title, and his 2nd of 2010 at the Fujisankei Classic, which he also won last year. He defended the title in an uncertain way however, he was 3 shots clear going into Round 4, but managed a round of just 70 (1 under) on Day 4, while Shunsuke Sonoda managed -4 to tie for the lead.

Sonoda & Ishikawa were best friends at School, and played on the team together as well, with Sonoda already a winner on the Japan Tour and slated as the next Ryo. However in the playoff, on the 4th hole extra, Ryo Made a par, but Sonoda horribly 3-putted for a bogey, meaning his more prolific friend defended his Fuji crown and lifted his 8th Career win.

This win also rockets Ryo to the top of the 2010 Japan Order of Merit for the first time this season, with over 66 Million Yen. Behind him on the List is Hiroyuki Fujita, Toru Tanigcuhi & Korean Kyung-Tae Kim, all with earnings of over 60 Million Yen this season.
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Freakin' Ishikawa [/jealousy]

In other Asian golf tour news, my buddy John Huh (20yo) made another cut on the Korean Tour this week the Meritz Solmoro Open . That's 9 of 10 so far this season. Didn't fair so hot in the standings, but he's out there grinding. I have another friend on this tour, Damian Yi. Its his rookie season, and not doing terribly hot. Hopefully he can close strong. Otherwise I'll be seeing him at QSchool.
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He seems to be doing well Ben, maybe we'll be seeing Huh on the Asian Tour perhaps one day? Only 20 too! Keep us informed on how they're both doing. :)

The Korean Tour always fascinates me at how it is incredibly rich considering it's a non World Ranking Tour, that event alone has a prize fund of over $400,000, as much as some main Asian Tour events!

Also, just noticed the winner of that event you linked to, I remember he used to play on the Japan Golf Tour a few years ago, I think. I remember he came 2nd at a tournament, which slips my mind, but I was there I remember!
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  • 3 weeks later...
Hey, sorry for not being around; Travelling & Working way too hard recently to have had chance to visit!

Just thought I'd pop on to inform you of;

Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open
Co-sanctioned Asian Tour & Japan Golf Tour
Prize Fund: $1,800,000 (approx.)
Field Includes: Daisuke Maruyama, Shingo Katayama, Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda, Seung-yul Noh(KOR), SK Ho(KOR), Michael Hendry(NZL), Liang Wenchong(CHN), Kim Kyung-Tae(KOR), Hiroyuki Fujita, Gaganjeet Bhullar(IND), Anthony Kang(USA), Bae-sang Moon(KOR), Toru Taniguchi, Thaworn Wiratchant(THA), Kiradech Aphibarnrat(THA), SSP Chowrasia(IND), Mardan Mamat(SGP), Masashi Jumbo Ozaki, Danny Chia(MYS), Siddikur(BAN), Angelo Que(PHI)
Thursday (Round 1): No PLay, round eventually suspended due to torrential rain & strong winds. Tournament cut to 3 rounds/54 a holes.
Friday (Round 1): Kazuhiko Hosokawa of Japan, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India and SK Ho from Korea were tied at the top on -4. There were 4 1-shot back on -3, including last year's winner Daisuke Maruyama & Ryuichi Oda both of Japan. Plenty on -2, including Shingo Katayam, Ryo Ishikawa & Anthony Kang.
Saturday (Round 2): A poor scoring condition day, only a few players shot under-par rounds on the difficult East Course at Rokko Kokusai Golf Club. Ryuichi Oda, the current reigning Japan Open Champion took the lead on -4 after a good round, and Ryo Ishikawa lay one shot back on -3, after a stunning Hole-in-one on the 15th (Par 4, 187 yards) Meanwhile those on -2 include; Daisuke Maruyama (Current Champion), Shingo Katayama, Michael Hendry, Seung-yul Noh, SK Ho Michio Matsumara.

And so heading into the final round, the top of the leader-board is dominated by Japan Tour player,s with the rest of Asia struggling apart from one or two. Could Oda, who is probably the most inconsistent performer on Tour, win his second Japan Tour title after last year's surprise Open Win, or can Ishikawa carry his 3rd win of the season. Last year's winner Daisuke Maruyama is close and Shingo could get his first Tour win since 2008.
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This Week in Asia:
Asian Tour:
Mercuries Taiwan Masters, Taiwan
Field Includes: Siddikur (BAN), Peter Karmis (RSA), Mardan Mamat (SGP), Lin-Wen Tang (TWN), Udorn Duangdecha (THA), Juvic Pagunsan (PHI), Danny Chia (MYS), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA)
Synopsis: Extremely tough scoring conditions in Taipei/Taiwan this week, awful weather in first 2 rounds, means that after 3 rounds, only 3 players are under par. Siddikur of Bangldesh who became the first ever Bangladeshi to win a OWGR Tour event 2 months ago is 1 shot ahead on -5, while another recent winner Peter Karmis of South Africa is -4. The only other player under par is Thai rising-star Pariya Junhasavasdikul on -3. I can't see anyone other than these 3 winning the event tomorrow.

Japan Golf Tour:
Coca-Cola Tokai Classic
Field Includes: Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda, Shingo Katayama, Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Jumbo Ozaki, Kumei Oda, Ryuichi Oda, Shunsuke Sonoda, Toru Tanigcuhi, Hideto Tanihara, Hiroyuki Fujita, Daisuke Maruyama, Shigeki Maruyama, Katsumasa Miyamoto, KIradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Brendan Jones (AUS)
Synopsis: Well, after Australian Brendan Jones would his first title in 2 years last week, he's at -2, and five shots off the 3rd round lead set by Takashi Kanemoto on -7. He has the clubhouse lead overnight with Tetsuji Hiratsuka on -6. 'Tet' has won Twice on the Asian Tour this season and has had dozens of Top-10 finishes in Japan and his blistering form means he's hot favourite to win tomorrow. Hiroyuki Fujita is 1 further back on -5, with Shunsuke Sonoda among other on -4. Ishikawa is in a tie for 8th on -3.

If Tetsuji HIratsuka wins this Tokai Classic, the Japan Order of Merit really will become one of the closest fought for many years; there's about half a dozen players all vying for it at the moment behind Korean Kyung-Tae Kim (Not Playing this week or next) who's at the top currently.
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My boy John Huh chalked up his first win on The Korean Tour at the Shinhan Donghae Open today!!! Shot a nice 68 on the final day to win by two shots over... KJ freakin' CHOI!!! Camilo Villegas and Angel Cabrera were in the field too. Nice fat $141,600 payday!!! Way to go John!!

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Really great news Ben; especially for he has beaten KJ & there big stars. Good stuffs. :)

I see Huh is playing in the Korean Open next week (OneAsia co-sanctioned) - $1,000,000 would be brilliant if he was to continue his good form next week!

Pariya wins first Title
Pariya JUnhasavasdikul of Thailand; won of the region's brightest young talents finally picked up his first Asian Tour win this weekends at Mercuries TAIWAN Masters in Taiwan. The $500,000 event was torrids with rains & bad weather on some days, and scoring was difficult on the widely acclaimed Taiwan Golf & Country Club. Pariya stumbled to a round of +2 on Sunday, but this was still dififcult for a 4-round total of -2, the same as Bangladeshi Hero Sididkur who recently became the first Bangladeshi Golf player to win a OWGR Tournament anywhere in the World.

In the playoff, Pariya came out on top, adding to his few minor professional wins; and his recent good form finally came to climax with this win which moved him to 8th on Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Home-man Lu Wei Chih came third on -1, while no one else managed under par for the tournament.

Michio wins Playoff!
Michio Matsumura was in similar boats to Junhasavasdikul this weekend; as he claimed his first Tour Title, this time in Japan Golf Tour, also in dramatic playoff. Michio shot an impressive round of -4 in the final day, to tie with Takashi Kanemoto & Hiroyuki Fujita at the top of the leaderboard. Michio was seven shots behind the leader after 3 dropped shots in 5 holes on Day 4, but he came back with a stunning round in the end.

Matsumura beat Fujita on the third playoff hole, claiming his first JGTO Victory. Meanwhile just missing out on the playoff was last week's winner, Australian Brendan Jones, Ryo Ishikawa & Koichiro Kawano, who tied for Joint 4th.

Next week is the Canon Open, followed by the Tour's premier, lucrative $2,500,000 Japan Open Championship.
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Just a note; one of my favourite players, Kyung-Tae Kim has committed himself to the Japan Golf Tour, even over his own National Korean Open this week which he was due to play in.

At the last minute, Kim has dropped out of the Korean Golf Tour/OneAsia Korean Open Championship, to play in the Canon Open in Japan to help his Money List charges. Kim is currently within the top couple of players in Japan and is very close to winning the MOney List after a sensationlly consistent season in Japan.

Kim is currently the 3rd highest Asian player in the OWGR, ranked at 59th in the World, after 1 win, 1 2nd place, 1 3rd & an incredible 7 4th place finishes this season.
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This week:
The 53rd Kolon Korean Open

Field Includes: YE Yang, Seung-yul Noh, Sang-moon Bae, Michael Hendry(NZL), Mitchell Brown(AUS), Dae-hyun Kim, Simon Yates(SCO),
Synopsis: Seung-yul Noh, the Asian Tour Number 1 (Only 19 years old!) has had an awesomes week in so far; he is 5 shots clear after 3 rounds on -9. On -4 is Korean Tour star Kim Bi-o, while there's only 4 others under par. YE Yang, Asia's first major winners is +1, in 12th place. John Huh was tied for the lead after the first round but has fell away with rounds of 74 and 76 to a total of +4 so far, at Tied 25th.

Japan Golf Tour:
Canon Open

Field Includes: Yuta Ikeda, Ryo Ishikawa, Jumbo Ozaki(HoF), Koumei Oda, Ryuichi Oda, Shingo Katayama, Kim Kyung-Tae(KOR), Shunsuke Sonoda, Hideto Tanihara, Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Hiroyuki Fujita, Shigeki Maruyama, Daisuke Maruyama, Katsumasa Miyamoto
Synopsis: Toru Taniguchi and Brendan Jones from Australia are the only top players missing from the $1,900,000 Canon Open this week in this very strong field. Kyung-Tae Kim, the most consistent player in Japan this year is vying for the Money List and has opted to play here instead of his Home National Open on OneAsia.
After 3 rounds, this is set up to be one of the best tournaments of the year; with Ryo Ishikawa tied at the very top of the leaderboards with Hideto Tanihara and Shinichi Yokota all on -9. Meanwhile, also heading in to the final round, 2 shots back in a tie for 4th is indeed Kim Kyung-Tae who's set for another consistent finish. Can Ishikawa pick up his 3rd win of 2010? Can Tanihara pick up his 2nd win of the year, and his 10th in his career?
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Really busys this week at work etc, so can't properly update on last week's winners. Basically, Seung-yul Noh collapsed in the final round, on a tough day where not many were under par at all. It was YE Yang, Asia's first major champion who had a great final day storm (He nearly missed the cut by the ways) and took his second OneAsia victory of the season, and jumps back to the top of the Order of Merit, ahead of Liang Wenchong. However Liang is in this week's field whereas Yang is unlikely to play again on the Tour this season.

In Japan, it was incredibling in that Shinichi Yokota made history, after winning the Canon OPen 13 years after his last Japan Tour title. He beat 2nd placed Ryo Ishikawa by 2 shots in the end, while fellow overnight leader Hideto Tanihara had one of the worst rounds in his career, dropping right back down the leaderboard.

Yokota last won at the 1997 ANA Open, and will be delighted at his win. Ishikawa's second place means he reclaims Number 1 spot on the Money List.

This week in Asia:
Asian Tour:
Iskandor Johor Open
Field Includes: Padraig Harrington(IRE), Colin Montgomerie(SCO), Retief Goosen(RSA), KJ Choi(KOR), Thaworn Wiratchant(THA), Pariya Junhasavasdikul(THA), Sididkur(BAN), Peter Karmis(RSA), Seung-yul Noh(KOR), Gaganjeet Bhullar(IND), Prayad Marksaeng(THA), Mardan Mamat(SGP)
Defending: KJ Choi (KOR)

This is Asia Tour's biggest non co-sanctioned event. With a prize fund of $1,250,000 & big international stars you'd think this is was European Tour co-sanctioned, but isn't. The event has a star-studded field including Ryder Cup stars Harrington & Montgomerie and defending champion KJ Choi.

OneAsia Tour:
Midea China Classic
Field Includes:
Liang Wenchong(CHN), Simon Yates(SCO), Stephen Allan(AUS), Brad Andrews(AUS), Kurt Barnes(AUS), Mitchell Brown(AUS), Anthony Brown(AUS), Nicholas Fung(MYS), Do-hoon Kim(KOR), Scott Laycock(AUS), David Oh(USA), Terry Pilkadaris(AUS), Guido Van der Valk(NED), Zhang Lianwei(CHN)
Defending: Liang Wenchong

Japan Golf Tour:
Japan Open Golf Championship
Field Includes:
Yuta Ikeda, Ryo Ishikawa, Yasuharu Imano, Jumbo Ozaki, Koumei Oda, Ryuichi Oda, Shingo Katayama, Brendan Jones(AUS), Shunsuke Sonoda, Toru Taniguchi, Hideto Tanihara, Jin Jeong(KOR)(A), 'Tommy' Nakajima, Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Hiroyuki Fujita, Sang-moon Bae(KOR), Shigeki Maruyama, Daisuke Maruyama, Katsumasa Miyamoto, Azuma Yano, Kyung-tae Kim(KOR)
Defending: Ryuichi Oda

Keep look-out for Simon Yates from Scotland. 40-year-old base din Thailand, not won for 6 years since SK Telecom Open 2004 on Asian Tour; but real good form recently and I think he could win this week. But you can't look past Liang either; blister ing form this year and defending champion in home province of China.

It's the Japan Golf Tour's 'premier' event this weeks; Minimum of 32 Points to the Winner in OWGR, and a great purse prize of $2,500,000 (Joint richest event in Japan) - Ryuichi Oda made a surprise last year by winning from nowhere, while Ishikawa has had runner-up finishers the past two years and will want to win. Kyung-Tae Kim could have a chance and even Shingo Katayama has a chance to win this week (First for 2 years) and I think he can as he loves the Open.
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Good read and info bro Kazuhiro ! Are you coming over to Singapore for the Barclay in November ? If so do drop me a Private Message. We could arrange a game together !
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Unfortunately I don't get to Singapore often (Only 1 or 2 times) and won't be there for the Barclay, but if I am ever there, I shall let you know!

Kim wins historic Open:
Kyung-Tae Kim, one of my favourite, and one of the hottest prospects in Asian golf has won the Japan Open title yesterday, at the age of just 24, he now moves to World Number 48, after picking up the Tour's 'premier' 32 Point Allocation.
At the Aichi Country Club for the first time, the Open was always guaranteed to be awesome this years, with the Japan Money List being contended by about 4 or 5 players still, the Japan Open is the first of a series of 'big' events during the last 2 months of the Tour's season, which includes the VISATaiheyo Masters, WGC-HSBC, Dunlop Phoenix & Casio World Open.

Kim won by 2 shots over Hioyuki Fujita who lead for most of the tournament. It's Kim's second Tour win, along with the Diamond Cup earlier in the year, he now has a terrific 12 Top-10's in 16 events now, a stunning season for Kim.

Third place was shared by Toshinori Muto, Americna Han Lee & Amateur Hideki Matsuyama who became highest placed amateur for many many years. Ishikawa finished 8th, while last years champion Ryuichi Oda finished T25th.

Harrington ends 2 year streak:
Padraig Harrington of Ireland, the 3 time Major winner has won his first title since the US PGA Championship in 2008, and has ended a run that has lasted more than 2 years without win. Harrington was playing in this week's Iskandor Johor Open - one of Asia Tour's strongest & most richest non-co-sanctioned tournaments. Other sin the field included Colin Montgomerie & KJ Choi amongst ASia's top players.

Harrington has a neck injury during round 3, and publicly stated that if he wans't in the lead, he would have pulled out withdrawn. He was 6 shots clear with 3 holes to go, and despite dropping 3 shots on those holes, he still wins with 3 to spare, over Teenager Seung-yul Noh, who has stretched his lead on the Order of Merit even further.

Felton marks comeback:
Australian Kim Felton claimed an emotional first title for over 3 years since winning the Victorian Open in 2007. He hasn't played tournament golf for almost a year, and has even been working in a friend's local shop near where he lives to make money during that time, and after losing all enthusiasm for the game last year, has recently been practicing to give his career one last shot; he returned this week on OneAsia's $1,000,000 Midea China Classic, and won!

He used to be a regular Nationwide Tour player and was a regular winner in his homeland. He won by 2 strokes over my tip, Simon Yates of Scotland. Liang WEnchong, the defending champion and 3 time OneAsia winner tied for 8th.
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