After a three week break, the Japan Tour returns to action this week, before another three week break…The Shigeo Nagashima Invitational will commence this Thursday at The North Country Golf Club in Hokkaido. KT Kim will spearhead the Korean chase for glory.
It could be a long week both on and off the course, with the current heavy rain forecasted to last throughout the week, but this is not a weather report…Hopefully, the golf goes uninterrupted over the four days.
It’s been a pretty quiet season so far for Kim, who has yet to build on his three Japan Tour victories from last year. The world number 96 has enjoyed a solid past four tournaments, picking up a T-4th and T-20th in Japan, in addition to 15th and T-12th in his two most recent events on the KPGA Tour. Having won this tournament back in 2011, Kim will be determined to deliver another strong week and maintain his status inside the world’s top 100. Kim is currently 18th on the Japan Tour money list, but is not the top Korean playing in Japan at the moment.
With five top tens so far this season, Sung Jae Im currently lies 15th on the Order of Merit. Im seems to be making steady progress in his second season in Japan and with 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishes this year, it won’t be too long before he finds himself on top of a Sunday afternoon leaderboard. Maybe this week…
The only other Korean inside the top 20, Younghan Song is having another consistent year, having not missed a cut since February. Song has yet to hit top form this year, but if he can keep teeing it up every weekend, his solid performances will eventually pay off. He is well overdue a big week.
Here’s a photo of the course on a beautiful sunny day, lets hope for four of them this week, but more importantly, a maiden Korean victory this season is needed to ignite the rest.
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