Ishikawa will be on the hunt for his 13th win in Japan at the Y150 million (approximately US$1.2 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour at the Otone Country Club, West Course from September 24 to 27.
With only one top-10 in the United States this year, Ishikawa will be determined to bounce back into form as he challenges for a first victory in 2015 at the Mitsubishi Diamond Cup.
The 24-year-old will be a huge draw in the event which has attracted some of Asia’s leading lights.
He will be among the strong local stalwarts who include defending champion Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Koumei Oda, Shingo Katayama and Yuta Ikeda, who have all won multiple victories on the Japan Golf Tour.
Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, a two-time Asian Tour number one, Arjun Atwal of India, Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, S.S.P. Chawrasia of India, Scott Hend of Australia and Liang Wen-chong of China will lead the Asian Tour charge next week.
Young guns Thanyakon Khrongpha of Thailand, Seukhyun Baek of Korea, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Paul Peterson of the United States are among the talented stars who are aiming for a first career victory.
After winning in Dubai to complete a career turnaround, Atwal, who was crowned the Asian Tour Order of Merit winner in 2001, believes an Asian Tour member will shine against the Japanese luminaries.
“Winning in Dubai, I think it’s maybe even a greater feeling (compared to his win at the 2010 Wydham Championship on the PGA TOUR) because of the way things went the last two years. I didn’t think I would play again or compete again. Especially when I had the back and the hip injury, I couldn’t walk,” said Atwal.
“Obviously, it’s been getting better on the Asian Tour every year. Back in the day, it was rare to see Asian Tour players winning European Tour events. It happened once in a while. Now if an Asian Tour member doesn’t win, it will be surprising. You know that one of our players can win anytime,” he explained.
The 46-year-old Fujita capped a wonderful win last year when he defeated Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Jason Knutzon of the United States and S.K. Ho of Korea by two shots.
A return to the venue of his win will be a huge confidence booster for the Japanese veteran, who has posted two tied fifth results in Japan this year.