Asian Amateur Championship begins next week

Eric Chun teeing-off on the second hole of the Old Course.On Thursday 7 October, the second Asian Amateur Championship gets underway at Kasumigaseki Country Club, one hour north west of Japan’s capital, Tokyo. On offer for the winner is an invitation to compete at Augusta National in the 2011 Masters Tournament and, along with the runner-up, a place in International Final Qualifying for the 2011 Open Championship.

Last year’s runner-up, Eric Chun, will be hoping to go one better in 2010 at Kasumigaseki. He took full advantage of his IFQ opportunity, qualifying with a birdie on the last hole at Saujana Golf & Country Club to secure a ticket to St Andrews. He impressed over the first 33 holes on the Old Course and looked destined to join fellow Korean amateur Jin Jeong in the weekend pairings, but a bogey at 16 and a double-bogey on the 17th meant that the cut was missed by just one stroke. Nevertheless, he will undoubtedly be one to watch on the West Course, next week.

Last year's Champion Han Chang-won in action at Augusta National.The highest-ranked players in the field are India’s Rashid Khan, Ben Campbell of New Zealand, Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto, and Australian Kieran Pratt, all of whom are well inside the world’s top 50. Khan is a two-time Faldo Series Asia Champion and has won four events this year, and Campbell has displayed remarkable consistency to register nine top-15 finishes in the same period. Fujimoto recently won successive events, briefly lifting him to 17th in the world, while Pratt, who reached the last-32 at the Amateur Championship, won four events in six starts early in the season.

Other notables include former US Junior Champion Korea’s Kim Sih-wan, the first Stanford University student to become a first-team All American in his freshman year since Tiger woods, and Australian Matt Jager, the reigning New Zealand Amateur Champion, Australian Amateur Champion and Australian Amateur Stroke Play Champion.

Kasumigaseki Country ClubMasamichi Ito of Japan, the 15-year-old who won the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, in September, will also command attention.

The 2010 Asian Amateur Championship will take place on the West Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club, the venue for the Japan Open in 1933, 1956, 1995 and 2006 – the 1956 and 2006 championships were held on the West, while the others were played on the East – and the Japan Women’s Open in 1999. It has a long standing commitment to amateur golf, demonstrated by its hosting of the Japan Junior Championships each year for the last forty years.

The Championship gets underway on Thursday 7 October and will conclude on the evening of Sunday 10 October. Live scores, full reports and live coverage will be available at AsianAmateurChampionship.com.