Japan’s Takumi Kanaya, the world’s top-ranked amateur golfer, he has turned professional and signed with WME Sports for worldwide management to represent all his commercial activities.
Kanaya, winner of the 2020 McCormack Medal, has enjoyed a stellar amateur career, climbing to the pinnacle of the amateur rankings and representing Japan in both the 2018 Asian Games and the 2018 World Amateur Team Championships, where he finished second as an invididual.
Kanaya won the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, which secured invitations to both The Masters and The Open last year, making the cut at Augusta. He has already firmed up his return to The Open next year after an impressive third place finish at the 2019 Australian Open, which saw him qualify as part of The Open Qualifying Series.
Last November, Kanaya won the Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters with a remarkable eagle at the 72nd hole to become only the fourth amateur to win a professional event in the history of the JGTO.
Kanaya commented: “I am very grateful to the Japan Golf Association and to Mr Abe and the Tohoku Fukushi University for their support throughout my amateur career. I will stay closely aligned to both as I still plan to graduate from TFU next spring and my instructor is Gareth Jones, Head Coach of the JGA. I am also excited to partner with WME Sports in this next chapter, whose global expertise will help guide and shape my career.”
Jay Danzi, Head of Golf Clients at WME Sports remarked: “We are delighted to have signed Takumi. With our unrivalled worldwide network, expertise and resources, we are confident that we will be able to deliver for Takumi both within Japan and around the world. His ability is matched by a great work ethic and personality, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Kanaya will make his professional debut at the Japan Open Championship to be played from October 15-18. Already exempt on the JGTO though 2021, Kanaya also hopes to position himself as an international player and will aim to play his way on to the European Tour by 2022.
Kanaya joins a WME Sports stable that includes Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Danielle Kang, Padraig Harrington and Francesco Molinari.