Asian Tour stars to light up CJ Invitational

A strong line-up of stars from the Asian Tour will light up the course when the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi returns for its second edition next week.

Golf News: Scott Hend

Staged at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club from October 4-7 with a total prize fund of US$750,000 on offer, the CJ Invitational is the first tournament to be hosted by an Asian player which is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour.

K.J. Choi, who started his career on the Asian Tour and is now an honorary member, joins the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods as players with their own tournaments.

There will be no fewer than 30 Asian Tour winners ready for the challenge at the CJ Invitational which will feature 55 players each from the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour plus 10 sponsor's invitations, making it a 120-man field.

With the quality of players on the Asian Tour, host Choi is already anticipating a mouth-watering clash between the best players from the region.

"The Asian Tour has always had a handful of upcoming young players just waiting to burst out on the scene.  This is year is no different and the field again will be very competitive between the top Asian and Korean Tour players," said Choi.

Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil who wrote his place into the history books as the youngest winner on the Asian Tour, will be one of the young talents to look out for.

The 23-year-old, a three-time winner on the Asian Tour, has two top-10 finishes this season and could potentially end his three-year title drought next week.

Korean-American rookie David Lipsky, who is already enjoying a phenomenal season having won once and registering three other top-10 finishes, will return to his ancestral birthplace in search of more glory.

Meanwhile Australia's Scott Hend is excited with the prospect of returning to the Land of Morning Calm.

The two-time Asian Tour winner enjoyed a warm reception when he was featured as part of the publicity campaign for his last Korean outing in June.

After finishing tied-fifth last year, the big-hitting Australian is relishing the challenge all over again.

"I'm back! I'm looking forward to it as the golf course is incredible. K.J. does well to set up the golf course," said Hend.

"Obviously, you have to putt pretty well and the surface of the course is fantastic. You have to take advantage of the par fives. The fairways are pretty generous. If you can hit the ball pretty long off the tees then you have the opportunity to set up an opportunity for eagle," added the Australian.

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