Rising star Taiga Semikawa set for PGA Tour debut in Honolulu

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Taiga Semikawa talks on Tuesday about his upcoming PGA Tour debut at this week’s Sony Open in Honolulu.

HONOLULU — Taiga Semikawa, who last year became the first amateur in 95 years to win the Japan Open, says he is more excited than nervous ahead of making his debut at a PGA Tour event at this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii.

“I’m a little nervous, but the excitement is bigger,” Semikawa, who turned pro after winning twice on the Japan GTO tour last season, said on Tuesday. “I will boldly aim to be among the leaders and get an idea of how my game fares.”

Semikawa arrived in Hawaii on Saturday and played practice rounds on the par-70 Waialae Country Club course each of the past three days.

It is the same course that Japan star Hideki Matsuyama, like Semikawa a product of golf power Tohoku Fukushi University, won the title last year in a playoff, which the 22-year-old Semikawa said he watched on TV.

“I will be playing in the same event as Matsuyama, who has won a major. That alone shows I have made it to the top,” Semikawa said, referring to the veteran’s win at the 2021 Masters.

After the Sony Open, Semikawa plans to remain in the United States and compete in consecutive weeks at The American Express and the Farmers Insurance Open.