Tournament article

Japan Open Golf Championship 2019

Mikumu Horikawa receives "last seat" for the ZOZO Championship sponsor invitation

Just before the Japan Golf Open Championship Day 1 started great news came to Mikumu Horikawa. He received the last slot for the US PGA Tour co-sanctioned tournament, ZOZO Championship which will be held next week. He was the last to receive the sponsor invitation, following Satoshi Kodaira and Jinichiro Kozuma.

On the aka "ZOZO Rankings" (Money Rankings from the season opening Singapore Open until last week's Bridgestone Open), Mikumu was at 9th and couldn't get the ticket to the tournament on his own.
"To be in the ZOZO Championship field was my goal from the beginning of this season, so I was really upset."
But that dream which he thought was gone, was delivered to him on Tuesday.

"I had the chance to play with founder of ZOZO, Mr. Maezawa in the Pro-Am. I had the chance to exchange name cards then. I told him that I am ashamed that I couldn't make it onto the ZOZO Championship on my own, but if I could have the chance to be in the field I would really like to challenge."

After this meeting, Mikumu took action to contact Mr. Maezawa several times and, Mikumu received a phone call from Mr. Maezawa saying, "Please take the chance to see the world class golf."

"I must do really well to give back to the wonderful offer Mr. Maezawa has given me."
Mikumu started out his Round 1 of this week's Japan Golf Open Championship with joyful state of mind, which made him make an eagle on tough 3rd hole. He made the turn with 1 under, but on the Par 3 17th, he had to cry over a double bogey.

Mikumu played his practice round with the last time winner of this Koga GC, Shingo Katayama who advised him not to go for the green on this hole.
"I just couldn't lay up on the short hole."
His decision to hit with the 5W was a big mistake and ended in the bunker.
"When I got to the green, I found out that I should have listen to Shingo's advice but it was too late."
Mikumu has won his first victory at the Major in June, the JGTC Mori Building Cup and gained his 5 years exemption. He has the chance to make another Japan's Major add to his list, but he seems to be very realistic.
"I wonder how I could manage to battle this tough course settings with my game. I will not get greedy from tomorrow and on and play smart. I must play well so that I could keep the good momentum for the next' week's tournament."