Is Takumi Kanaya the next Japanese superstar?

Japan’s 21-year old amateur, Takumi Kanaya, appears as if he might well follow in the footsteps of Ryo Ishikawa and Hideki Matsuyama and become the next Japanese superstar on the world stage following his surprise victory in today’s Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters in Gotemba, south of Tokyo.

Kanaya, who is currently the leading amateur in the world, recovered from a slow start to this week’s event to reel off a brilliant final 54 holes and capped it off with an eagle at the last to edge one shot clear of his playing partner Shaun Norris after the pair had broken clear of the rest of the field.

Korea’s Y.E. Yang finished alone in third place four shots behind the second placed Norris.

So good is Kanaya that he finished runner-up to Yuta Ikeda two years ago at the age of 19 and since then has won the 2018 Asia Pacific Amateur Championship and finished runner-up in that same event again this year along with several other amateur titles.

Matthew Griffin and Brad Kennedy finished as the leading Australians when they tied for 13th this week and earned A$54,000 each, Anthony Quayle was 18th, New Zealander Michael  Hendry and David Bransdon were 24th, Brendan Jones 28th, Dylan Perry 32nd and Adam Bland 41st.

The Japan Tour now moves south to the southern island of Kyushu for this week’s Dunlop Phoenix in Miyazaki.

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