World No.1 Amateur Makes History At The Japan Open

Taiga Semikawa became the first amateur to win the tournament in its 95 year history

Taiga Semikawa hits a chip shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Japanese amateur, Taiga Semikawa, is flying up the World Rankings and has now made history at the Japan Open, as he becomes the first amateur winner in its 95 year history.

Along with the historic victory, it was also the 21-year-old's third professional title in a row, with Semikawa claiming the Panasonic Open Golf Championship and Japan Create Challenge in FukuokaRaizan prior to his home open title.

Heading into the final day, Semikawa had a resounding lead of six shots and actually extended this by two, with back-to-back opening birdies. It did begin to get slightly edgy though, as Semikawa dropped a shot on the fifth before a triple-bogey on the ninth. 

His lead was then cut to two after a bogey on the 17th, before a par finish sealed the win. Following his victory, the Japanese star stated: "I'm delighted to win this tournament.

"I didn't think I could save par on the final hole, but I knew my putt was going in when I saw it rolling toward the cup. I hit a good bunker shot to save par on the 10th after the triple-bogey. That was huge. I was able to regroup for the rest of the round." 

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PGA Tour player, Adam Scott, was also present at the event and ended up finishing T6, but the day was all about Semikawa, who added “now that I have won twice, I’m going to raise the bar even higher and expect even more from myself. 

"Winning the Panasonic Open and now the Japan Open has changed my perspectives and mindset. I want to build on this. My dream is to win all four Majors.”

The World No.1 amateur has so far risen from 1851st to 516th in the professional rankings on the back of his incredible recent form, with it likely he'll make his way into the World's Top 350. 

Japan is becoming prolific in creating golf talent and this was even more apparent when Hideki Matsuyama won The Masters in 2021. Coincidentally, Semikawa also plays for the same university golf team that Matsuyama attended.

Cieran Faulder

Cieran joined the Golf Monthly team having previously written for other digital outlets like Reach PLC and Northern Golfer. After studying Journalism at Northumbria University, Cieran went on to complete an MA at the University of Sunderland. A big golf fan, he currently plays at Blyth Golf Club, where he holds a handicap of 8. Citing his favorite golfer as Tiger Woods, Cieran regards himself as the best snap hooker of a ball in the North of England.