Finished that year spectacularly with four victories and a second place in five worldwide events, then added a successful defence of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and by finishing joint runner-up to Brooks Koepka at the 2017 US Open rose to second in the world, the best position ever achieved by a Japanese golfer.
As an amateur he topped the world rankings, was a World University Games gold medallist, achieved back-to-back Asian championships, made the cut at the 2011 and 2012 Masters and won the first of eight Japan Tour titles. On turning professional in 2013 he became the first rookie to top their money list and was 10th and sixth respectively on his debuts at the US Open and The Open.
Back-to-back top seven finishes in The Masters followed and he tied for fourth in the 2017 PGA Championship. Also has three Presidents Cup caps.