Ryuji Imada, who has been playing on the lower-ranked Nationwide Tour in the United States, will play as a regular on the USPGA tour from next season, golf sources said Tuesday.

The top 20 golfers in the money rankings on the Nationwide Tour qualify for the USPGA. Imada, who is ranked third on the list, claimed his PGA card with one tournament remaining this season.

The 28-year-old Hiroshima native first traveled to the United States to study golf when he was 14 and turned pro in 1999 after graduating from the University of Georgia.

He began playing on the Nationwide Tour in 2000 and claimed his first victory in May the same year. Imada also appeared at the U.S. Open championship in 2000.

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