The Japan Tour heads to the Gifuseki Country Club’s East Course in Gifu to the north of Nagoya for the ¥200 million Japan Open an event which Australians have won on only two occasions.

Craig Parry in 1997 and Paul Sheehan in 2006 are those Australians and although another four will get their chance this week none are playing at the level where a win is expected.

Brad Kennedy, Brendan Jones, Adam Bland and Todd Sinnott will take to the fairways of this venue which is being used for the first occasion. They will be joined by New Zealander Michael Hendry who will look to join David Smail as the only other New Zealander to win the title. Smail won in 2002 but is no longer playing on the Japan Golf Tour.

Brad Kennedy leading the Australians in Japan this year

Hideki Matsuyama would have been the defending champion but he is playing in the PGA Tour event in Malaysia this week and the favouritism is likely to go to the leading money winners this season Yusaku Miyazato, Shugo Imahira and Satoshi Kodaira.