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Keita Nakajima

Keita Nakajima
Earned his exemption into the Championship last August as number one on the World Amateur Golf Ranking – this a year after compatriot Takumi Kanaya claimed the same Mark H McCormack Medal.

Earned his exemption into the Championship last August as number one on the World Amateur Golf Ranking – this a year after compatriot Takumi Kanaya claimed the same Mark H McCormack Medal.

The pair were already linked. Four months earlier Nakajima, aged only 20 at the time, was runner-up to Kanaya at the Japan Golf’s Tour’s Token Homemate Cup.

Not that he had to wait long for his first victory on the circuit. It came at September’s Panasonic Open when he beat Ryutaro Nagano at the first hole of a play-off and with it moved close to breaking into the world’s top 200 even before he turned professional.

He has also posted third- and eighth-place finishes, while he finished second in the 2019 Japan Amateur Championship and then went one better in 2021.

Just 15 when he was first invited to play a JGTO event, he held joint fourth place after an opening 69 in the Japan Open a year later and first topped the amateur world rankings in November 2020.

A year later he won the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, which also offered a place at St Andrews and an invitation to The Masters at Augusta National.

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