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Keita Nakajima Player Profile And What's In The Bag

By: | Tue 02 Apr 2024

It was not pretty in the end but that will not trouble Keita Nakajima, who recorded his maiden DP World Tour victory at the Indian Open.

The 23-year-old Japanese golfer, who was a sensational amateur and won the Japan Golf Tour order of merit in 2023 in his rookie season, began the day with a four-shot lead. At one point during the final round he had extended that lead to nine before stumbling to a double-bogey at the 14th. It is a hole he will want to forget in a hurry - he bogeyed it in rounds one, two and three. 

He birded the 15th but dropped further shots at the 16th and 17th. He also dropped another shot at the par-five 18th to come home in 40 shots. A final round of 73 gave him a 72-hole total of 271, 17 under par.

Such was his dominance that he could afford those mistakes and still enjoy a four-shot win ahead of Sebastian Soderberg, Johannes Veerman, and Indian golfer Veer Ahlawat, who sent the home crowds wild with an eagle on the closing hole.

Nakajima said: "To win this feels just amazing. I was nervous on the 14th and I had a tough back nine holes. But I hit some great shots. Now I want to try and finish on the top ten on this tour and then go to the PGA Tour in 2025."

Nakajima becomes the fifth Japanese winner in DP World Tour history and his victory, the seventh by a Japanese player, comes as part of a remarkable run by Japanese players.  

When Ryo Hisatsune won the Open de France in September just over 40 years after Isao Aoki had become the Tour's first winner, only Hideki Matsuyama's Masters Tournament win and two World Golf Championships triumphs had come between for Japan.

But fellow Japanese golfer Rikuya Hoshino - who is second in the Race to Dubai - won February's Qatar Masters. Hoshino took the same path to the DP World Tour as Nakajima, finishing second in the Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit in 2022. Nakajima won that order of merit last year and now aims to follow Hisatsune's path to the PGA Tour by claiming one of the 10 PGA Tour cards on offer at the end of the year.

Keita Nakajima

Player Profile

Keita Nakajima was born in Saitama, Japan on June 24, 2000.

He started playing at the age of six and was an outstanding amateur golfer, reaching number one in the world rankings for a record 87 weeks. He also won the Panasonic Open on the Japan Tour while still an amateur.

He won the Australian Amateur in 2018 and the Japan Amateur Championship three years later, having finished runner-up at the event in 2015, 2017 and 2019. He was runner-up at the 2017 Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in England and the 2019 Australian Master of the Amateurs.  

In 2018, he was runner-up at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship before winning the event in 2021 in a playoff with Hong Kong's Taichi Kho. 

He played in a number of representative matches, including the 2017 Nomura Cup, the 2022 Eisenhower Trophy and the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup. Nakajima won both the individual and team gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games. He was ranked number one in the amateur world rankings for 87 weeks between 2020 and 2022, beating Jon Rahm’s record of 60 weeks. He won the Mark H McCormack Medal in 2021 and 2022, the first two-time recipient.

While still an amateur, Nakajima played in a number of professional tournaments. In 2021, he was runner-up at the Token Homemate Cup before winning the Panasonic Open. After making the cut at the Sony Open in Hawai in 2022 he rose to 188th in the official world rankings.

Nakajima turned professional in 2022 and made his professional PGA Tour debut at the 2022 Zozo Championship, finishing tied 12th.

In 2023, Nakajima won three times on the Japan Golf Tour in his rookie season, toppling the money list in the process.

The Indian Open is his maiden DP World Tour victory in just his 11th start. He began the tournament ranked 90th in the Race to Dubai and 111th in the world rankings. The win takes him to 13th in the Race to Dubai.

Last 10 Events

Hero Indian Open - 1st

Porsche Singapore Classic - T29th

SDC Championship - CUT

Qatar Masters - T33rd

Bahrain Championship - CUT

Ras Al Khaimah Championship - T4th

Golf Nippon Series JT Cup - T2nd

Casio World Open Golf Tournament - 4th

Dunlop Phoenix Tournament - T2nd

Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters - T20th

Key Stats

Driving Distance - 303.73 Yards

Driving Accuracy - 51.43%

Greens in Regulation - 69.26%

Sand Saves - 43.75%

Putts Per Round - 28.60

Scoring Average - 69.32

End of Year World Ranking Position

2019: 1059

2020: 482

2021: 201

2022: 313

2023: 88

What's In Keita Nakajima's Golf Bag

Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus

Wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max Fairway

Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth 2 19.0° Rescue

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC 4-5 & P7MB 6-9

Wedges: TaylorMade MG4 46°, 52°, 56° TW, 60° TW

Putter: TaylorMade TP Reserve B11

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball

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Tags: WITB Tour Pro player profile in the bag

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