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Nakajima eyes PGA Tour place after Indian Open triumph

Keita Nakajima set his sights on a PGA Tour card after claiming his first DP World Tour victory at the Hero Indian Open.

The Japanese player is one of the rising stars of the game, winning the Japan Golf Tour order of merit in his first full season as a professional having spent a record 87 weeks at the top of the amateur rankings.

After claiming four victories in his homeland, he now has one in just his 11th appearance on the DP World Tour despite dropping four shots in his final five holes in New Delhi.

“I feel like this is the first win of a new professional career,” Nakajima said after his triumph around the Gary Player Course at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

“This is my first year playing on the DP World Tour and I’m very proud to have won on the DP World Tour and very honoured to be playing here.

“I want to try and finish on the top 10 on this tour and then go to the PGA Tour in 2025.”

Nakajima made his professional debut with a tie for 12th at the 2022 Zozo Championship on the PGA Tour and he is now aiming to claim one of the 10 cards available on the US circuit via the Race to Dubai, having climbed to 13th in the rankings with his win.

The 23-year-old started the final round of the Hero Indian Open four shots ahead and essentially had the title sewn up by the turn, opening up a nine-shot advantage after turning in 33.

That gave him enough breathing room for his late stumble and his closing 73 saw him finish at 17 under and win by four shots from India’s Veer Ahlawat, Swede Sebastian Soderberg and American Johannes Veerman.

English duo Sam Bairstow and Matthew Jordan finished nine shots off the lead in a group of six players who tied for 13th.

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