Anthony Quayle – file photo NZPGA

The Japan Golf Tour never really gets the exposure it perhaps deserves and in this time of Covid related restrictions, that obscurity has been heightened, as, for much of the 2021 season, the tour featured mainly Japanese players without the significant contingent of foreigners who would otherwise ply their trade there.

In more recent months several of those international players have again appeared and in yesterday’s Panasonic Open in Kyoto, Queensland’s Anthony Quayle recorded his best finish in eleven Japan Tour starts in 2021 when finishing 11th.

Quayle is in what is effectively his third season on the Japan Tour having been unable to play in 2020 due to Covid restrictions but he has proven himself to be a player capable of winning, having recorded top three finishes in events such as the Crowns and the Casio World Open in his career there to date.

Quayle’s second round of 64 was the second-best round recorded by any player at this week’s Panasonic Open and followed a slow start to the event on Thursday when opening with a round of 74.

His third round of 67 opened the door for possible contention but a round of 71 on Sunday saw him slip to his share of 11th. It was, though, his best finish of the year to date and no doubt provides a lot of hope for the lucrative end of season events ahead.

Of the other Australians in the event, Dylan Perry finished 47th, Todd Sinnott 53rd and Scott Strange 57th.

The tournament was won by former Australian Amateur Champion (2018) Keita Nakajima who like Hideki Matsuyama and Takumi Kanaya before him has won an event as an amateur on the Japan Tour in recent times and a lucrative professional career no doubt awaits the 21 year old.

Nakajima won after a playoff against Ryutaro Nagano.

Nakajima could turn professional and earn his Tour Card right away if he so chose, but he will remain an amateur so that he will be invited to US Open and The Open with the privileges of being World’s No.1 Amateur. Also, if he wins the Asian Amateur Championship in November, he will be invited to The Masters.

Keita Nakajima – the winner of the Panasonic Open – file photo