Kazuki Higa’s ‘most-wanted’ win has dollops of grit written all over

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Kazuki Higa set himself up well for his title defence next week with a win at the Sega Sammy Cup on Sunday. Photo: Tumblr
Kazuki Higa set himself up well for his title defence next week with a win at the Sega Sammy Cup on Sunday. Photo: Tumblr

Into his fifth year as a professional, Kazuki Higa captured his ‘most-wanted’ second victory by making 6 birdies and 2 bogeys to score a 68 on Sunday and beat overnight leader Kunihoro Kamii by 2 shots.

Kazuki started out 2 shots behind the leader Kunihiro, and it was a see-saw game until Kazuki made the charge from the 13th to mark 3 straight birdies for the outright lead.

At one time, he was at 21-under, a new tournament record, and had a 3-stroke lead against Kunihiro.

Kasuki recalled, “I kind of lost focus”, as he stumbled with a bogey on the 16th of the North Country Golf Club.

“Overall, my goal for today (Sunday) was to reach the tournament tie record of 20 under, and I am glad I was able to accomplish it.”

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Kazuki Higa secured a two shot come-from-behind win at the Sega Sammy Cup on Sunday. Photo: JGTO
Kazuki Higa secured a two shot come-from-behind win at the Sega Sammy Cup on Sunday. Photo: JGTO

Kazuki was thrilled to pull off the win, just a week before the Sansan KBC Augusta, where he will be the defending champion.

It was at the Keya Golf Club that Kazuki broke through on the Japan Golf Tour in 2019. Due to the pandemic, the event got cancelled last year and he had to wait for another year to attempt a double.

“I hope I will perform well next week, and I want to be on the top for the Order of Merit race as well,” said Kazuki.

Runner-up Kunuhiro received the honorary “Shigeo Nakashima Award”, an additional 1,000,000-yen prize, which is presented to the player who performed most aggressively.

Defending champion Ryo Ishikawa finished T37 with a total of 5-under 283.

The lowest amateur award was presented to Yuta Sugiura, a junior at Nippon University.

JGTO