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Shinhan Donghae Open moves from South Korea to Japan

This year’s Shinhan Donghae Open Asian Tour golf tournament will take place in Japan, instead of its usual venue in South Korea.

The tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Tour Golf Organisation and is in its 36th year, will take place at the Koma Country Club in Nara prefecture, on September 10-13. It will have an increased prize purse of KRW1.4bn ($1.2m), with the winner getting KRW252m ($210,000).

Since 2014, the tournament has been hosted by the Bear’s Best Cheongna club in South Korea.

Yong-byoung Cho, chairman of the tournament’s title sponsor, Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group, said: “I ask for the understanding of the Korean customers and fans who have supported and visited Shinhan Donghae Open every year.

“I sincerely wish that this year’s tournament will a great opportunity for players to spread their wings in the world. Shinhan Financial Group will continue to carry out global brand marketing to become the leading financial group in Asia.”

The financial services company has a close connection to the new tournament venue – Shinhan Financial Group’s founder Heui-keon Lee oversaw the construction of the Koma Country Club in the 1980s.

Cho Minn Thant, commissioner and chief executive of the Asian Tour, said: “The Asian Tour welcomes the Koma Country Club as the new host venue of the 36th Shinhan Donghae Open in September. Tradition and honour is integral to the game of golf and the decision by Shinhan Financial Group to pay homage to its founder Mr. Heui-keon Lee is a very noble gesture.

“We will miss playing the event on Korean soil this year however we are confident that the Japanese galleries will be out in force and take this opportunity to watch our Asian Tour players alongside counterparts from the Japanese and Korean Tours in action as well as on television via our global television broadcast.