Adam Scott will be hoping to become just the fourth Australasian to claim the prestigious Japan Open title when he heads a strong local challenge at the Sayama Golf Club this week.
Michael Hendry, the highest ranked of the Australasians on the money list, comes off an impressive runner-up finish at last week's Fiji International and in the midst of his most consistent season in Japan.
With five top five finishes and just one missed cut in 14 starts for the year the only thing missing from Hendry's 2016 resume is a victory.
The New Zealand native is playing the event for just the fourth time and while his previous record is less than stellar with two missed cuts and a best of T52 he is a vastly improved player this year.
Hendry's nearest competitor on the money list and also on the midst of a brilliant year is Queensland's Brad Kennedy.
The 44-year-old has never finished better than T21 in this event but his consistency in 2016 suggests a third Japan Tour title is not out of the question this week.
Like Hendry, Kennedy has been within reach of victory more than once this year and it would be a surprise if he is not in the mix come Sunday.
Also in the field this week are Japan Tour regulars Adam Bland, recent tournament winner Brendan Jones, Scott Strange, former Japan Open winner Paul Sheehan and Eisenhower Trophy winning team member amateur Harrison Endycott.
Despite being Australia's most successful regular Japan Tour player Jones has generally struggled in the national championship with just two top 10 finishes to his name in 15 years.
However, his win at the ANA Open a month ago will have his confidence high after two years of struggling with a wrist injury.
Headlines at a glance
- Gibson top Aussie in Panama 21.02.2017
- Scott off to good start at Riviera 21.02.2017
- Rumford dominates ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth 19.02.2017
- ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth round 4 draw 19.02.2017
- Thrills and spills as top-24 determined at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth 18.02.2017
- Hawkes flies low at Heidelberg 18.02.2017
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