The Japan Golf Tour’s domestic season gets underway this week with the staging of their traditional season opener, the Token Homemate Cup in Nagoya.
While the Japan Tour has already played two events of their 2018 schedule, those events were in Myanmar and Singapore which has now been the case for the past three years. But as Japan emerges from its winter and early spring, the temperatures warm up and as has been the case over the history of the event, in the now 25-year old Token Homemate Cup has played its role in kicking off the Japan Tour’s home schedule.
Ten Australians will tee it up this week, three playing the Japan Tour in Japan as cardholders for the very first time namely Anthony Quayle, Andrew Evans and Aaron Wilkin.
The three played their way onto the Japan Golf Tour by securing cards at the Q School last December, Quayle finishing an impressive 4th, Andrew Evans 16th and Aaron Wilkin 23rd at that testing examination.
Quayle has done well in the first year of his professional career, recording seven top tens in PGA Tour of Australasia events including a 3rd place finish at the Oates Victorian Open and by finishing 4th at the Q-School he gets plenty of early season starts to advance his cause.
32 year old Evans’ career claim to fame is his runner-up finish to Peter Senior at the 2015 Australian Masters at Huntingdale and a 3rd place finish at the 2016 Fiji International.
Wilkin has struggled in his few years in the professional ranks but by earning the right to play in Japan in 2018 he at least has a quality tour on which to play this year and the chance to improve his standing in the game.
The three rookies will be joined by former winner Brendan Jones, Brad Kennedy, Matthew Griffin, David Bransdon, Scott Strange, Todd Sinnott and Won Joon Lee.
Another former winner in New Zealander, Michael Hendry, makes up the Australasian contingent, Hendry having won the title in 2015.
The Japan Tour season consists of twenty-five events carrying prizemoney between A$900,000 to A$2.5 million.
Jones is the highest earning foreigner in the history of the Japan Golf Tour, his 14 victories there generating earnings close to A$12 million.
Feature photo (top) Anthony Quayle courtesy of NZPGA