Mikumu overcomes yips for second win in Japan

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Like his first title in 2019, Mikumi Horikawa fashioned a wire-to-wire win at the Casio World Open on Sunday. Photo: Pueblerino.info
Like his first title in 2019, Mikumi Horikawa fashioned a wire-to-wire win at the Casio World Open on Sunday. Photo: Pueblerino.info

Mikumu Horikawa’s second victory on the Japan Golf Tour was also wire-to-wire, but it wasn’t an easy ride at the Casio World Open. On the 17th, he missed a 2.5-metre putt and that bogey cut his lead to one.

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“I saw the leaderboard and told myself, ‘regretting is worthless and I must make an eagle or at least a birdie on the 18th’.”

His second shot from the 18th fairway caught the green and stopped 8-metres right of the pin. “It has been two-and-half years since my first victory. I have been suffering putting yips since then. It was really difficult and made the drought feel like it was 10 years,” said Mikumu.

The eagle putt didn’t go in, but the perfect touch made his suffering from yips seem a lie. Mikumu two-putted for birdie to seal the victory.

His first Tour victory had come at the 2019 Japan Golf Tour Championship, and that was wire-to-wire too.

“The Kochi Kuroshio CC has great greens. Thanks to the wonderful maintenance, I was able to make so many good putts. I started out with a three-stroke lead, but I knew there would be many talented players making a charge. I was nervous but so many cheering fans supported me.”

As for the order of merit race, Takumi Kanaya finished T4 and his position on the money ranking stays at 3rd. Ryosuke Kinoshita, who missed the cut this week, also stays 2nd.  Chan Kim finished T45 but still keeps the top position.

The Order of Merit race will be decided at the JT Cup, the final tournament next week.

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