Asian Tour

Asian Tour: Berry Henson in the hunt for dream ticket to Open Championship at St Andrews

Berry Henson. Asian Tour

By Matt Smith
American Berry Henson ensured he was in the mix at the Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship to keep alive his dream of playing at the Open Championship

Henson was among the best morning players to take a share of the lead alongside Todd Sinnott from Australia and Japan’s Shugo Imahira at Oarai Golf Club after carding four-under-par 66s.

Eight players fired 67s including Japan’s Yuto Katsuragawa, currently first on Japan’s money list, and his young compatriot Keita Nakajima – the world’s No. 1 amateur.

Henson traded seven birdies with three bogeys and felt playing aggressive paid dividends.

“The course is very difficult. It’s a real golf course this week. You have to hit the fairways, you have to hit the greens, and you have to put it in the right position to make the putts. I did a pretty good job today,” said the American.

“Japan has its own style of golf. Every time I come here, I have to adapt, I have to change, and I have to learn how to play this style. I’ve played here now for 10 years. This year I came thinking I need to play more aggressively as that’s what I see the top players do. Even if it’s a difficult shot, they play so aggressively. I did that today and it worked out.”

This week’s winner will earn a place in The Open at St Andrews in July and that is something on the 42 year old’s radar.

He added: “My goal is to win this week. I came here with an aim to grab The Open spot. My life goal is to play the British open at St. Andrews. I was aiming for that since the start of the year. Another life goal is to play the US Open at Pebble Beach. I want to just enjoy myself here in Japan. I love sushi and I enjoy Japanese food.”

Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, buoyed this week by receiving an invite to next week’s PGA Championship, came in with a 69.

He said: “I’m playing in my first Major next week at the PGA Championship. It’s my first time playing in the United States. I was preparing to play my first Major at The Open in July. Getting into the PGA Championship was really a surprise to me. My caddie found out about it on Monday and told me. I heard the courses for PGA Championship are very difficult, but we are still very excited.”

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