Korea-Japan-Asian Tour powerhouses gather… Shinhan Donghae Open kicks off on Sunday

The 39th Shinhan Donghae Open (total prize money of 1.4 billion won) will be held at Incheon Club 72 (Par 72, 7204 yards) starting on July 7.

The tournament is co-organized by the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour, Japan Golf Tour (JGTO) and Asian Tour. This year’s tournament will feature 138 players from 17 countries. It is a major tournament on the KPGA Korean Tour with a prize pool of 252 million won.

This year’s JGTO money list runner-up Keita Nakajima and Japan’s leading long hitter Riki Kawamoto will be representing the Japanese Tour. Nakajima is coming off a runner-up finish to Ji-ho Yang at the Hana Bank Invitational, a co-hosted event held in Japan in June.

Speaking at the tournament’s official press conference on Friday, Nakajima said, “I don’t have any information about the course yet, so my goal is to gather information every round and clear it. If I utilize 100% of that information in the final round, I think I will have a chance to win.”

Kawamoto said, “I finished fifth at the Shinhan Donghae Open last year and fifth at the Hana Bank Invitational this year. I think it’s time for me to move up this time,” he laughed, “I’ll try to win. I’m meeting Korean golf fans for the first time, and I hope the Japanese players will also support me.” He began the press conference by saying “Hello” in Korean. Kazuki Higa of Japan won the tournament in Japan last year.

Lee Jae-kyung, who leads the KPGA Korean Tour Order of Merit, will be looking to win for the pride of the tour. “This is the most important time of the year. My goal is to win,” she said. “The more difficult the course, the bigger the tournament, the more fun it is. It’s a chance to play against players from overseas tours, and the winner will be seeded for the Japan and Asia tours, so it’s a chance to fulfill your dreams,” she said, showing her determination to win a major.

After clinching the LX Championship last week with a dramatic eagle on the last hole, Kim will be looking to win for the second week in a row.

Veterans such as Park Sang-hyun, Kang Kyung-nam, Kim Kyung-tae and Kim Hyung-sung, as well as amateurs Jo Woo-young and Jang Yubin, who represented Korea at the Hangzhou Asian Games, are also in contention. Kim Sung-hyun, who is coming off a successful first season on the 2022-23 United States Professional Golf (PGA) Tour, said, “I missed last year’s tournament due to the coronavirus. I’m excited to compete this year, and I want to do well because it’s a sponsored event,” he said.

The Asian Tour also has its share of hidden gems.

2019 Shinhan Donghae Open champion J.B. Kruger (South Africa), three-time Asian Tour winner Miguel Tabuena (Philippines), Sadom Kaewkanjana (Thailand), Daichi Ko (Hong Kong), Gaganjit Bhullar (India), and Siddhiker Rahman (Bangladesh) are all in the field.안전놀이터

The Shinhan Donghae Open, the oldest single-sponsor professional tournament in Korea, was founded in 1981 by a group of Korean-Japanese golf enthusiasts to develop golf in Korea, foster player development, and promote sports exchanges between Korea and Japan. Since 2019, the tournament has been co-organized by the Korea, Japan and Asia tours, and in 2022, the tournament was held in Japan to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Shinhan Financial Group. It will be the first time in four years since 2019 that the Shinhan Donghae Open will be held in Korea with a gallery.