Every year The Masters gives a select group of amateurs a chance to shine, but who is Takumi Kanaya?

Who is Takumi Kanaya?

Twenty-year-old Takumi Kanaya is making a name for himself at this year’s Masters, the amateur golfer for Japan carding a third-round 68 at Augusta National to boost his chances of ending the week as leading amateur.

The Hiroshima native, who claimed a two-stroke victory at the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to qualify for The Masters, was one of four amateurs to make the cut – and he made his move on Saturday with six birdies and just the two dropped shots.

“I wanted to be aggressive today, a little bit different from yesterday, and I was aggressive and able to get those birdies,” said Kanaya, who, courtesy of his win in Asia, will also be teeing it up at Royal Portrush in July.

Who is Takumi Kanaya?

Who is Takumi Kanaya? The young man from Japan is enjoying his Masters debut [Getty Images]

His four-under on Saturday followed opening rounds of 73 and 74, and he wasted no time in climbing the leaderboard with three birdies in his opening six holes, before he gave a shot back at the par-4 7th. However, he closed out the front nine with further gains at eight and nine, before holding on for an even par back half.

Related: Masters Leaderboard

Asked how important it would be to win the title of low amateur, he added: “Definitely one of the highest honours an amateur could get here at Augusta. There’s many, many more amateurs here that have turned up Major champions on the Tour.  So, yeah, definitely that’s my goal.”

Kanaya shot a final-round 65 to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore to become the first Japanese player to win the title since Hideki Matsuyama in 2011.

Last September, he finished second individually at the World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland, while helping his country finish T15 overall.

This week, he’s staying at Augusta National in the Crow’s Nest, the clubhouse upper loft reserved for those not competing for prize money.

Looking ahead to the final round, the young Japanese player, said: “I will prepare the best way I can for tomorrow. If I can play my game, I think the results will be there. So I just have to go out there and do that.”