So-named because of the region in the southern half of Honshu in which it is played, the Kansai Open is one of the lesser events on the Japan Tour due mainly to the lower level of prize-money it is played for, the ¥70,000,000 purse equivalent to some A$850,000.
As a result the field is not amongst the strongest on the Japan Tour but last week’s runner-up at the Japan PGA Championship, Brad Kennedy, heads the Australians, the Queenslander not only in good form at present but he is also a previous winner of this event having been successful in 2013.
His victory back then came at a different venue but Kennedy will be buoyed by his effort last week which came after a slow start to the 2017 Japan Tour having missed his first two cuts before a 9th place finish at The Crowns.
Other Australians in the field include Australia’s most prolific winner of prizemoney on the Japan Golf Tour, Brendan Jones, Adam Bland, Won Joon Lee, Matthew Griffin, Todd Sinnott and David Bransdon who will be joined by New Zealanders Michael Hendry and Ben Campbell.
Campbell, a talented New Zealander who is only now emerging from a professional career plagued by injury and illness, finished joint runner-up at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open and as a result of an arrangement between the New Zealand Open and the Japan Tour he has secured a start in several Japan Tour events.
Hendry, Kennedy and Campbell all featured at the New Zealand Open and will play this week