Keeping his cool in the heat of battle, Yuki Kamasu continued Japan’s recent domination of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final with an assured final-round display at Mission Hills last month.
The 21-year-old underlined his potential with a polished performance over the water-strewn Nick Faldo-designed Faldo Course at Mission Hills Shenzhen, edging Czech Republic’s Simon Zach in a dramatic sudden-death play-off.
Leon D’Souza was the best-placed Hong Kong player. The youngster started promisingly with back-to-back rounds of 70 before sliding to a 77 in the final round to finish in a share of 14th on one-over-par.
One shot ahead overnight, Kamasu closed with a three-under 69 for a 54-hole aggregate of nine-under 207. That total was matched by Zach, who carded a 68.
However, it was the Japanese who prevailed in extra time with a gutsy bogey-six at 18. There, he pushed his drive into the water but quickly recovered his composure to find the green with his fourth shot.
Nonetheless, at that point, Zach, in the centre of the fairway less than 100 yards from the flag in two, appeared to hold the initiative.
But he then suffered the anguish of dunking two balls in the hazard in front of the green as the chance of becoming the first non-Asian winner of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final slipped agonisingly from his grasp.
With his triumph in the ninth edition of the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event, Kamasu followed in the footsteps of Masamichi Ito and Mikumu Horikawa to become the tournament’s third Japanese champion in the past four years.
"This victory is important for me. It’s my first international win and is a big boost for my confidence and self-belief,” said Kamasu.
"I would like to thank Sir Nick for providing such an incredible opportunity and for hosting us all … and for sharing his knowledge and wisdom at the clinics he conducted.”
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