The 2016 Golf Nippon Series JT Cup of the Japan Golf Tour tournament was held from December 1 to 4, at Tokyo Yomiuri Country Club. It was a last tournament in 2016, Only 30 players who were top players in prizemoney ranking and the winner of this year took part in this tournament. Yuta Ikeda ranked first in prize ranking, and Hideto Tanihara ranked second in prize ranking. The difference of their prize money is about 30 million yen. If Tanihara becomes a leading money winner, he must win this tournament and Ikeda must takes the 4th place in the tournament. So Ikeda was in a favorable situation.
In the first round, Tanihara shot a 65 so he took the first place. He got a good start. Yoshinori Muto also shot a 65, he took the first place. Ikeda shot a 68 and he took the 7th place with 3 strokes behind Tanihara. Ryo Ishikawa who had won this tournament at last year, shot a 70 and he took the 16th place with 5 strokes behind the 1st place.
In the second round, Sang-Hyun PARK shot a 65 so his total score was 9 under and he took the first place. He had not won the Japan Golf Tour tournament. Satoshi Kodaira and Hyung-Sung KIM shot a 66 and they took the 2nd place with 1 stroke behind PARK. Tanihara shot a 68 and his total score was 7 under, so he dropped to the 4th place. Ikeda shot a 67 so his total score was 5 under and he took the 8th place. Ishikawa shot a 68 so his total score was 2 under and he took the 14th place.
Kodaira raised scores even in the third round. He shot a 67 so his total score was 11 under and he took the first place. PARK shot a 71 and his total score was 8 under, so he dropped to the 2nd place with 3 strokes behind Kodaira. Ikeda shot a 67 so his total score was 8 under and he took the 2nd place with PARK. Ishikawa also raised scores, he shot a 66 so his total score was 6 under and he took the 5th place. Tanihara shot a 72 and his total score was 5 under, so he dropped to the 7th place. His leading money winner became difficult.
However, PARK raised scores in the final round. He shot a 65 and his total score was 13 under. So he won the 2016 Golf Nippon Series JT Cup. It was the first time for him to win the Japan PGA tour tournament and he got the winning prize of 40 million yen. Kodaira shot a 69 so his total score was 12 under and he ended the 2nd place. Ishikawa took the 6th place and his total score was 8 under, Tanihara took the 5th place and his total score was 11 under.
Ikeda shot a 66 so his total score was 12 under and he took the 2nd place with Kodaira. So his total prize exceeded 200 million yen, he became a leading money winner of the Japan Golf Tour in 2016. Yuta Ikeda ‘s biography is that he’s the age of 31 and he was born at Chiba Prefecture. He began playing golf from 6 years old and became a professional golfer in 2008. In 2009, he won the Japan PGA Championship of major tournament, it was a first time victory for him in the Japan Golf Tour. By the way, Nissin Food Products has been sponsored this tournament from 2010 and Nissin also has been sponsored Ikeda. After that he became active as a center player of the Japan Golf Tour, he was selected to the members of the national men’s Olympic Golf team and played in the 2016 Rio Olympic games. His winning number is 16 times until 2016 season.
Why did Yuta Ikeda become a leading money winner? In this season, he changed a lot of things. First, he had contracts for clubs with Bridgestone sports for many years, but he canceled the contract from 2016. So he became able to use various clubs, he changed the driver to the RS driver F of the PRGR and ONOFF driver Aka of GLOBERIDE. Second, Ikeda was playing with the same caddy for seven years, but he has canceled the contract from this year and is playing with various caddies now. So He expanded his horizons for golf. Then, Ikeda longed for Masashi “jumbo” Ozaki before and he had imitated hair style and clothes. But Ikeda stopped these hairstyle and clothes from 2016 and changed his image. These various changes led to the leading money winner. By the way he is not married yet.
This youtube’s video is the play of Ikeda in 2016 season. His play is getting better and he will be active at the Japan Golf Tour in the future.