Tournament article

Kansai Open Golf Championship 2024

In-form Hendry seeks further success at the Kansai Open Golf Championship

In-form Hendry seeks further success at the Kansai Open Golf Championship

Fresh off his victory last week, New Zealand's Michael Hendry aims to continue his fine form as he seeks his first career back-to-back win at the Kansai Open Golf Championship.

The ¥80,000,000 Kansai Open, the fifth event of the JGTO season, is taking place at the Meishin Yokaichi Country Club in Shiga Prefecture.

The 44-year-old secured an emotional first win in nine years at the For The Players by The Players tournament, which featured a modified Stableford scoring format.

Hendry first tasted victory on the JGTO tour in 2015 when he claimed the Token Homemate Cup. This achievement is particularly remarkable given his battle with cancer last year. Hendry took a six-month hiatus from April to October to undergo treatment and recover from leukaemia.

Hendry acknowledged that the emergence of talented players in their 20s has increased the competitiveness of Japan's flagship circuit.

However, he's relishing the challenge of competing against the young guns and believes his experience can give him an edge.

“It’s tough competing against players in their 20s, but I believe I can keep up with them by staying fit. My experience is also something I can use to my advantage,” said Hendry during last week’s press conference.

A number of other international players are teeing off this week, including former Japan Open champion Shaun Norris of South Africa, South Korea's Song Young-han, Australians Brad Kennedy and Anthony Quayle, and the Philippines' Juvic Pagunsan and Justin De Los Santos.

Kennedy clinched the title in the 2013 edition, marking one of his three JGTO victories to date.
After a two-week hiatus, Taiga Semikawa is back to defend his title, fueled by a successful stint in the United States.

During his time there, he competed in two PGA Tour events, achieving his first top-10 finish by tying for ninth place at The CJ Cup Byron Nelson.

The 89th edition of the tournament boasts a stellar 150-man field, with former champions such as Kazuki Higa, Shugo Imahira, Ryo Ishikawa, and Tomoharu Otsuki among those competing.