Brad Kennedy with his 2013 Kansai Open trophy

The long wait for a return to the Japan Golf Tour ends this Thursday for many of the Australasian contingent who regularly ply their trade there with eight teeing it up at the Kansai Open in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture.

After more than 15 months when the few events played in Japan were available to only domestic players due to Covid constraints, several Australasians have emerged from a 14-day quarantine in the south of the country to play the A$700,000 event.

It might be one of the smallest purses on the Japan Golf Tour but it is a week that will bring heart to those who have had to miss playing on the regular basis they had previously.

Adam Bland, David Bransdon, Matt Griffin, Brad Kennedy, Anthony Quayle, Todd Sinnott and Dylan Perry are joined by New Zealand’s Mike Hendry to get their 2021 Japan Tour season underway.

Brad Kennedy appears to be the standout amongst that group having won this event in 2013,  finished third in 2014 and runner-up in 2015 and given his recent success in claiming the recent PGA Tour of Australasia money list title there is reason to believe he could again do well.

The venue changes each year so there is no guarantee Kennedy will enjoy the Arima Royal Golf Club layout in Kobe to the same extent he did the earlier venues but there is little doubting his current form.