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Four Australians chasing Japan Tour's season opener

Griffin has an opportunity for a breakthrough win in Japan (Photo: Henry Peters)
Four Australians are within three shots of the 54 lead at the opening event of the 2019 Japan Tour season, the Token Homemate Cup, Matthew Griffin and Brendan Jones leading the way at 8 under and just two from the lead of Japan’s Koumei Oda and American David Oh.

The Token Homemate Cup is an event that has been good to Australians in the past with four previous winners from that country including Jones who won the event in 2012.

Jones, the highest earning foreigner on the Japan Tour, is chasing his 15th title in Japan and has regularly played this event well despite it often being one of his first events of any particular year.

Griffin has played in Japan for the last four years and although he has gone close on several occasions he has yet to win a title there.

Won Joon Lee and Dylan Perry are the other two Australians close to the lead, that pair just one shot behind Jones and Griffin, Perry having turned professional late in 2018 after representing Australia at the Eisenhower Trophy in Ireland.

After a third-place finish on his professional debut at the NSW Open, Perry has missed his next four cuts but he has status on both the Australasian and Japan Tours in 2019 and this is an encouraging week for the Gold Coast based New South Welshman.

Co-leader Oda is a two-time winner of the event and has done remarkably well considering it is just his second event anywhere in 2019 while for Oh, a winner of the prestigious Visa Taiheiyo Masters in Japan several years ago, it is his very first event of the year.

 

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