05 October 2018
Japan Dominate Men’s Category
While The Philippine’s dominated in the women’s golf, taking both the team and individual gold medals, Japan was the prominent force in the men’s category. Keita Nakajima was the standout member of the Japanese team.
There were no surprises in the men’s category at the 2018 Asian Games. Keita Nakajima completed a wire-to-wire win in men’s golf, leading the field for all four days and finishing on a total of 11-under par. The 18-year-old Japanese player won by a stroke over his challenger Oh Seung-taek of South Korea.
At Pondok Indah Golf Course, Nakajima, who is recognized as one of Japan’s most promising amateurs, was able to uphold his reputation. Despite leading the race for the men’s individual gold medal, Nakajima had to work hard on the final day to keep his place at the top of the leaderboard. Starting the day with a three-shot lead, his advantage was reduced to just one shot after he bogeyed the 15th. He then needed to a clinch a par putt on the 18th after missing the fairway from the tee as opponent Oh Seung-taek piled the pressure on by draining a birdie putt to trim the margin to one.
“This was made possible through the good graces of my older teammates,” said Nakajima, who finished with 71 (1-under) in the final round, as quoted by the Japan Times. “Compared to yesterday, I started play composed, without any nerves. I was able to play my round without making any big mistakes.”
“But when I made a mistake on 15, all of a sudden it was very intense and I had to make pars on the last three holes and when I sank the putt on the last, I was quite relieved,” added Nakajima.
Japan also won the men’s team event for the first time in 20 years at the Asian Games with Nakajima combining with Ren Yonezawa, Daiki Imano and Takumi Kanaya for an aggregate of 28-under.