The Hills has reeled in one of the Japan Tour's top
performers for next year's PGA Championship.
Japan's Toshinori Muto (34) has been confirmed for the event
following a successful 2012, in which he picked up six top-10
finishes on his home tour.
This includes victory at the Kansai Open Golf Championship,
his fifth career title on the tour.
Muto's performances this season, which included competing at
the British Open, the Bridgestone Invitational and WGC
Champions events, have seen him climb up the world rankings
to No 103.
He will join fellow Japan Tour players Brendan Jones
(Australia), David Smail (New Zealand), Kevin Huang (China)
and defending champion Michael Hendry in Arrowtown next year.
Jones recommended the tournament to Muto.
''Brendan told me what a great tournament this is, how
beautiful Queenstown is, and how much he enjoyed his time in
New Zealand,'' Muto said in a statement.
''I am really looking forward to coming to New Zealand and
experiencing this for myself.''
Jones, ranked No 73 in the world, has become an advocate of
the championship and has spoken to several players on the
''I personally think Toshi is one of the best players on the
Japan Tour and is a consistent winner on tour.
''Also he is one of the nicest guys on tour so I think the
tournament will be better with him in the field.''
Muto has been described as one of the best shot-makers on the
tour and has a knack of come-from-behind victories. Three of
his five tour titles have been secured after trailing heading
into the final day.
Others players confirmed in the professional field at The
Hills include three-time US Open champion Hale Irwin,
Australian Peter O'Malley and New Zealanders Mark Brown and