• Kyodo News


Shingo Katayama arrived back in Japan on Tuesday still on a high after realizing a childhood dream at the Masters Tournament.

Katayama shot a 68 on Sunday to finish fourth at the Masters, equaling the best-ever finish by a Japanese player at the prestigious tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

The highlight for the 36-year-old Katayama came on the 18th hole, where he received roaring applause from the gallery after sealing Sunday’s round with a superb 20-foot birdie putt.

“That had been a dream of mine since I was a child, so for me to be able to live it makes me happy,” Katayama told reporters. “I honestly think I did well.”

Toshimitsu Izawa tied for fourth at the 2001 Masters for the previous best finish by a Japanese player.

Katayama earned a lifetime exemption last year on the Japanese tour and claimed his fifth money title, but his thoughts were far from the upcoming domestic season.

“I am not thinking about anything at the moment and I won’t be competing in this weekend’s tournament,” said Katayama, referring to the Token Homemate Cup, which opens the JGTO season on Thursday in Mie Prefecture.

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