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International challengers take on Daikin Orchid

By: By Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2012-02-24

The prospects of a foreigner winning this year’s Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament are pretty good, with 25 international players heading in to Okinawa next week for the March 2nd ~ 4th event.

This year’s theme is “Ever onward with Okinawa” and carries a ¥80 million purse for this 25th anniversary tournament. Park in Bee of South Korea returns to defend her title, and will be facing the likes of Chie Arimura, Sakura Yokomine and Sinobu Moromizato from the Japanese side. A total of 25 international players—19 from South Korea, two from Taiwan, two from Thailand, one from Australia and one from China—will square off on the Ryukyu Golf Course. Missing will be Okinawans Ai and Mika Miyazato. Ai Miyazato this past week bounced back into the Ladies Professional Golf Association Top 10 with a second place finish in the LPGA Thailand Tournament.

The 2012 Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament kicks off at the Ryukyu Golf Club in Tamagusuku. The event is attracting some 100 golfers for the 54-hole stroke play tournament. The majority of the participants are drawn from the Japan Ladies Golf Association members, with amateurs rounding out the field. The top 50 competitors move to the final round on Sunday, March 4th.

The Daikin Orchid is sponsored by Daikin Industries Ltd. The first action at the host Ryukyu Golf Club is a Pro-Am Tournament, where more than 220 golfers are expected to participate, including nearly a dozen amateurs.

A total of ¥80 million is on the line in the Daikin Orchid event, with some ¥14.4 million going to the winner. There are also special prizes being awarded, including products from sponsor Daikin. Okinawa Prefecture, Naha City, Nanjo city and the Okinawa Kanko Convention Bureau are also supporting the Daikin Orchid tournament

.A popular feature of the Daikin Orchid is the primarily volunteer staff. More than 455 ladies are donating their services to make the event a success. Daikin Bounty, a fundraising event promoting Okinawan culture, sports and entertainment, is also a part of the Daikin Orchid event. The group has raised nearly ¥200 million over the past several years, donating funds to private and educational related Okinawa groups.

Tickets are ¥2,000 per day for the first two days, and ¥3,000 for the final day. Tickets are available at most off-base golf shops, Ryubo and Okinawa Mitsukoshi Department Stores, and Lawson and FamilyMart convenience stores.

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