There hasn’t been too much to write home about for Byung Min Cho, since he won the Kansai Open Golf Championship on the Japan Tour last year. Does that mean anything ahead of this week’s title defence? Well, based on Si Woo Kim’s victory, once again current form was well and truly thrown out the window.
Cho has five missed cuts from seven in 2017, with his best result being T-53rd. To say a successful defence is possible seems ridiculous, but there are no impossible tasks in golf.
It’s been an underwhelming start to 2017 for most of the Korean players in Japan, with Seong Jae Im being the only one performing to a high level on a regular basis. Seven events in 2017- T-18th, T-15th, T-12th, T-10th, T-4th and T-3rd, with just one MC, indicates that this 19 year old is on course for a very successful season.
Kyongjun Moon, who had to go through Q-school to retain his card is also playing some great golf of late. T-13th at the Volvo China Open was backed up with an impressive 2nd place at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open two weeks ago. Moon could be the one to watch this week.
Eunshin Park, coming over from the KPGA, with limited status in Japan via Q-school, is another talented player who could be in the winners circle this year, maybe even this week…Park had a solid start to the KPGA season, being in contention at the opening two events, before finishing 3rd at the opener and T-14th the following week.
The strength of the Japan Tour is made more evident this week, as a total of fourteen Koreans will tee it up at the Kansai Open Golf Championship, as opposed to the SK Telekom Open, one of the KPGA Tour majors in Korea.
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