Stars of the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour and JGTO are set to come together to headline Team Japan in the world’s first mixed matchplay event, the Amata Friendship Cup presented by Toyota, which is set to take place at Amata Spring Country Club this December.
Featuring two teams of twelve players representing Thailand and Japan, each comprising five female professionals, five male professional , one female amateur and one male amateur, the event is set to be a spectacle of golf, putting males, females, professionals and amateurs together for the first time.
With some of the most-successful players in Thai golfing history already confirmed to feature for Team Thailand, Team Japan, led by Japanese legend Joe Ozaki and 12-time JLPGA Tour winner Miho Koga, today announces that it too will feature some of the nation’s best-known and most successful players.
Perhaps best known is Satoshi Kodaira, who has won eight times around the world since turning professional in 2010 including earlier this year at the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour, where he came from six shots back in the final round to enter an elite group at the pinnacle of the game.
Joining Kodaira, who will play under the leadership of his wife, Miho Koga, who Captain’s Team Japan, will be joined by LPGA Tour winner, and one of the fastest rising stars of the female game, Nasa Hataoka.
Hataoka turned professional in 2017 and has since cemented her place amongst the world’s elite, having claimed her maiden LPGA Tour victory at the 2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.
Further international experience will come from Hideto Tanihara, who has represented Japan three times at the World Cup of Golf, and amassed an incredible 14 international victories, and Kodai Ichihara, who has competed at Japan’s highest level for almost 20 years since turning pro in 2001.
Also confirmed for Team Japan is Ryuko Tokimatsu, the 24-year-old who has topped the JGTO money list for much of 2018 and competed alongside the very best in the world in the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Open Championship and USPGA Championship; experiences which will stand him in good stead as he competes against some of Thailand’s biggest stars in the inaugural Amata Friendship Cup presented by Toyota this December.
Tickets for the event will go on sale in October, with a series of ‘Early Bird’ promotions available, and complimentary access for Under-16’s alongside at least one paying adult.
Who would you pick on your team? We would love to hear your views! Join in the conversation on social using #AFC2018 and #StrongerTogether.