NAGOYA – Isao Aoki became the oldest player to appear on the Japanese men’s tour at the Chunichi Crowns on Thursday, but his round was limited to nine holes due to a sore right ankle.
At 73 years, 7 months and 28 days, Aoki rewrote the record set by Tomekichi Miyamoto at 73 years and 21 days in 1975.
The first Japanese player to win on the U.S. PGA Tour, Aoki excited the gallery when he hit his third shot from a bunker next to the pin on the par-4 first hole at the Nagoya Golf Club’s Wago course in Aichi Prefecture.
Aoki, who was selected as the JGTO tour’s new chairman last month, played after that while dragging his right leg after hurting it on Wednesday and made a triple bogey on the eighth.
“Even though it is a record I would like to have achieved it playing 18 holes,” said Aoki, who led the Japan tour in earnings five times.
“I am a bit disappointed that I looked awkward. I want to challenge as long as I can. I want to get my foot better and compete again next year,” he said.
Aoki earned a breakthrough victory in the United States by winning the 1983 Sony Open in Hawaii.
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