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Top-ranked amateur Takumi Kanaya turns pro

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Takumi Kanaya, the top-ranked amateur in the world, has turned pro.

The 22-year-old Kanaya, the recent winner of the McCormack Medal as the world’s top amateur, will make his pro debut at the Japan Open Championship on Oct. 15-18. He’s exempt on the Japan Golf Tour through 2021 and, per a news release, aims to play on the European Tour by 2022.

Kanaya has signed with WME Sports, the same company that, among others, represents Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay and Danielle Kang.  

Kanaya won the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and was the runner-up in 2019. He made the cut at the 2019 Masters and will be in the 2021 Open Championship by virtue of a third-place finish last year at the Australian Open. Last fall he became only the fourth amateur to win a pro event on the Japan Golf Tour.

With Kanaya turning pro, Ricky Castillo, a sophomore at the University of Florida, will become the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world.