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10 Things You Didn't Know About Keita Nakajima
1. He was born on the 24th June 2000.
2. Nakajima retook the world's number one amateur ranking in April 2021 and has held the distinction for the longest time, overtaking Jon Rahm's previous record of 60 weeks in March 2022.
3. His impact position has been compared to Dustin Johnson.
4. He booked a ticket to the 2022 Masters and The Open Championship at St. Andrews via victory in the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship November 2021 at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. He is the third player from Japan to win the event after Hideki Matsuyama and Takumi Kanaya.
5. The first golfer he saw on TV was Tiger Woods. “My family all play golf and I started playing when I was around 6 years old. Whenever I would watch the PGA TOUR on TV, I’d always see Tiger Woods playing and since then, probably around the time I was in junior high school, I have always wanted to become a professional golfer,” he told PGA Tour.com
“The first player I ever remember seeing on TV was Tiger Woods. I don’t really remember any particular shots, I just remember his huge fist pumps every time he wins, which I always thought was really cool."
6. Nakajima already has a victory on the Japan Golf Tour, winning the Panasonic Open in 2021.
7. Then in his PGA Tour debut at the ZOZO Championship in 2021, won by his idol Matsuyama, he finished a very respectable T28.
8. He uses a full bag of TaylorMade golf clubs including Stealth woods and P7MC irons.
9. He is a fan of the Los Angeles Angels MLB baseball team. Fellow Japanese athlete Shohei Ohtani currently plays for the team and was named American League MVP in 2021.
10. Nakajima credits Hideki as a big hero but he also credits Kanaya as a big factor to this success, having been part of the Japan National Team system under Australian coach Gareth Jones together. Speaking to the PGA Tour he said; “I respect him very much. I grew up watching Takumi and he did the same following in the steps of Hideki. Takumi has since graduated from the national team and now I am the senior and I feel it’s my responsibility to leave a positive impression on the players that will come after I leave.”
A golfer for most of his life, Sam started playing the game to prove he was the best player out of his father and two brothers.
He quickly became a golf equipment expert and has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice, and spends a lot of his time putting golf gear, apparel and shoes to the test.
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since February 2018. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.
A jack of all trades across print and digital formats, Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well.
Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.
Sam is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TS3
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #6
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