Tournament article

Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters 2019

If amateur Takumi Kanaya could win,he could be great as "Hideki Matsuyama"

The solo leader after the Round 3 is Takumi Kanaya, who is an amateur and still in his junior year in college. He was very polite at the after-round interview by the 18th green.

"My name is Takumi Kanaya, 21 years old and studying social welfare in college. This is first time to be in this situation and I am surprised myself", smiled shyly as fans flattered him with cheers and applauds.

This is his 2 year in a row appearance at this tournament.
"Last year I was caught up in all kinds of traps, like the lake at 18th, and couldn't make the cutline. I really regretted the bad performance I made. This course is really difficult, and you must really use your brains to play smart here."

On his second try this year, he did suffer the strong wind on Round 1 and finished with 3 over, but on Round 2 he managed to score 66, and then today he made a magnificent round by marking 63. This will be the course record of the new renovated course.

He made 2 straight birdies on 2 and 3. His putts were hot, and on 15th where he made the 5-metwe birdie putt to mark another 2 in a row, he became on the top of the leaderboard.

" I used to lose my concentration because I paid too much attention on other players' shots. But now I am only focusing to play my best. But it is great that on professional tournaments you get to check the score boards in many places. I was watching it every chance I got."

On the final 18th, he made a great bunker shot and used the undulation of the green very wisely to make it to 2-meter to the pin and made the birdie putt to close the day with a fist pump.

He has won the Asian Amateur title last year and earned the exemption to The Masters. He couldn't achieve to get the Best Amateur title there, but he proudly made the cut. Takumi is born in 1998, same as Hinako Shibuno, the winner of 2019 Women's British Open, they are the "Golden Generation".

Takumi almost won at 2017 Japan Open. "I lost with my miss putt, and I really regret it. That resentment got me going."

So, this will be Takumi's second Final Round in final group. In 2011 Hideki Matsuyama became the 3rd amateur to win at the professional tournament. Hideki told Takumi at the dinner table last year that, "if you win at the professional tournament as an amateur, you can become like me".

Could Takumi follow Hideki's footsteps and become the 4th amateur winner tomorrow?