Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Top amateur Nakajima won the Asia-Pacific Amateur in the playoffs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (NWN) – Keita Nakajima became the first No. 1 amateur player to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, beating Taichi Kho at 3-under 68 in the second hole of the playoffs on Saturday.

Needing three putts from 20 feet to win, Nakajima finished in style by making a birdie put, when Kho put his second shot into the water on the 18th at Dubai Creek.

Nakajima became the third Japanese player to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur, joining close friend Takumi Kanaya (2018) and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (2010 and 2011). The victory earned him a place in the Masters at Augusta National the following April.

1 in the world amateur rankings at the US Open in Brookline and the British Open in St Andrews, Mark H. McCormack is already there before winning the medal.

Kho, ranked 220 in the amateur rankings and senior Notre Dame player, started from the ninth hole with five birdies in the six-hole portion and closed with a 6-foot par put for 65. The 20- year old from Hong Kong finished 64-65.

Nakajima was in control until a double bogey from the bunker in the final round. He made three birdies on the last nine and then needed another birdie on the 18th to win.

Then there was the senior examination at Japan Sports Science University.

His tee shot went into the sandy area and, with a strong wind in his face and water defending in front of the green, he hit the front of the green and hit a two-putt from 35 feet for 68 for 68. Lost on 14. To Join- Under 270.

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In the playoffs, Nakajima went even further into the idle bunker, while Kho had a short iron from the middle of the fairway. The Japanese star again managed to beat about 30 feet away and equalized. Kho’s birdie ran 4 feet to win the put and he equalized it.

Nakajima eventually hit the fairway on the second extra hole, while Kho hit the waste area near the steep lip. His shot caught the lip and came down in the water.

“I caught it a thin hair,” Kho said. “I did everything I could to hit a good shot. It just didn’t go my way.”

When the birdie put fell, Nakajima raised his putter slightly and the celebration was on. His Japanese comrades showered him with water, and before long he wept. And then he turned and bowed, much like Matsuyama’s caddy at Augusta National, a poignant moment of respect.

It was the second straight playoff for the Asia-Pacific Amateur, with Yuxin Lin of China winning over Kanaya in 2019.

Lynn, a junior in Florida, was trying to be a three-time winner for the first time and started a shot from the lead. But he took a triple bogey on the second hole and his chances ended for good with a double bogey on the 15th. He closed with 71.

South Korea’s Wuyoung Cho scored 65 and Oklahoma State chief Bo Jin scored 68, who finished third, two shots out of the lead.

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