Golf: Top Japan Tour

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 Japan Tour.

''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 Ryan Fox.



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