ANA Open 2019

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Yuta Ikeda pledges to do defend his title at ANA Open

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Last year, ANA Open was cancelled due to Hokkaido Earthquake disaster. So, all of the players are very happy to back at the Hokkaido GC Wattsu Course and ready to contribute to Hokkaido with their play.

On Tuesday, the pairings for the first 2 rounds were announced. The defending champion from 2017, Yuta Ikeda will group up with Katsumasa Miyamoto and Y E Yang. Ryo Ishikawa will group up with Rikuya Hoshino and Kyung-Tae Kim.

Yuta Ikeda had his practice round on Tuesday with Yosuke Tsukada and Ryuko Tokimatsu. They have seen the course for the first time since 2017 event. Yuta pledges to aim to defend his title at his favorite course Wattsu. He has won here in 2010 and 2017, and as a hosting Pro, he wants to make it his 3rd Victory this week and give back to his sponsor.

Last year, just before the tournament was being held, the huge earthquake occurred and damaged many areas including the Wattsu Course. The tournament was cancelled right after the quake and at that moment, there was nothing that Yuta and other players could do.

On the weekend which the tournament was scheduled, instead od the tournament broadcast a special tribute program was on aired. Ryo Ishikawa was in Tokyo studio receiving live report from Yuta Ikeda at the Wattsu Course.

"We really though hard what we could do as a professional golfer and an athlete. What we could do to give back to all of the supports that has been given to us for so many years."
Players have developed so many warm relations with the local volunteers and supporters of the tournament. Yuta won the next tournament and sent his message to the victims of Hokkaido quake. During the off season, he visited several times with his fellow players to give coaching for the junior golfers in Hokkaido area using SNAG Golf. Yuta was really giving his time and effort to support the local people he dearly cares for.

Last week, Yuta skipped his tournament since he has injured his right leg, but it's well now and ready for the great battle at Wattsu.

"I want to give power and enthusiasm to the local area through great golf. All of the players are eager to do well, so we would like to make a great battle until the very end."

Yuta is man of his words. His mind is set on defending the title, no matter what.