No amateur had won the Japan Open since its inaugural staging in 1927 when Semikawa, whose given name Taiga was inspired by Tiger Woods, achieved the feat in October and with it guaranteed himself a place at Royal Liverpool.
Only a month after he had also won the Panasonic Open and gone top of the world amateur rankings the Tohoku Fukushi University student – Hideki Matsuyama also attended there - overcame a triple bogey midway through the final round to win by two and so put his name on a trophy twice held by Seve Ballesteros.
Six clear entering the closing 18 holes, he set off birdie-birdie, but then really had to fight for his second Japan Tour title. He was the first amateur to do that.
At the Panasonic he had fired a spectacular third round 61 to move into a tie for the lead from six behind and joint 33rd spot. He then followed it up with a 66 to beat Aguri Iwasaki by one. He decided to turn professional in November and in the Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters, just his second event as a Tour member, was out in front again after three days, but finished eighth.
In April captured his third Japan Tour title, but first as a professional, at the Kansai Open.