Tournament article

Japan PGA Championship 2019

Ryo at winner's interview "I knew that winning was the way to give back"

Ryo was in tears as many of the fans and his trusty staff congratulated his win since 2016 RIZAP KBC Augusta. This will be his 15th victory and his 2nd Major title.

Ryo suffered from the slump he had after challenging the US PGA and that haunted him for 2 and a half years. This season he had to withdraw from the tournament due to his back aches. He is only 27, but "I didn't recognize that years has passed by, and my physical ability has changed. I didn't listen to my body. I was too arrogant."

He changed all of his training methods and rebuilt his approaches on getting his feelings and confidence back on his favorite club, driver.

Ryo on winning the Major and making a "come back"

"I still can't believe this. It feels like a dream. I think many of the fans believed in me more than I did myself. I was able to win thanks to all of the fans. It took so long to get here. Many followed me through all 36, 37 holes today, and I bet many felt that I was out of contention during my first 18 holes. But many cheering voices from the fans enabled me to keep on fighting. I made my mind change and became a challenger against the leaders. I am amazed to see that I could win. This experience taught me so much. I still can't believe I am standing here as a winner. It feels like a dream. To win a tournament again felt so far and almost impossible to me at times, but now I am back and by winning against the players like Rikuya Hoshino who won last week gives me confidence."

Ryo on the last eagle winning putt
"I wanted to make the eagle putt on the 72th hole too, but it was just not enough. As for that last putt, I was amazed too. I read the line as slight left to right break, but I don't usually believe on my reads. But on that putt I believed my read, and when I saw the ball breaking right about 50cm before the cup, I knew it would go in."

Ryo's words of gratitude to the fans and people pf Kagoshima Prefecture
"There was serious weather disaster around the Kyushu area, but still many came to see the tournament. So, what's left for us the players to do is to play a great tournament. I wanted to give back to all of the people who supported us by doing great and making this tournament a success. I know many fans in Kagoshima City area who wanted to come could not due to the weather situations. I am glad that I was able to give back by winning the tournament."