Originating on the U.S. Professional Golf (PGA) Tour, “power golf” is an irresistible trend. In South Korea, Chung Chan-min (24) and Bang Shin-sil (19) have won championships with their fierce long shots, and in Japan, interest in Riki Kawamoto (23), a “long-hitting monster” who won two titles in his debut season on the Japan Professional Golf Tour (JGTO) last year, is high. A Japanese golf official introduced him as “a player with long-hitting power and star quality.” 메이저놀이터
Speaking to The Korea Times after finishing the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Hana Bank Invitational at Chiba Isumi Golf Club in Chiba, Japan, in fifth place (16-under-par 276), Kawamoto said, “I was naturally strong, but I wasn’t actually a very long hitter.” “To increase my distance, I focused on weight training for three years from high school and gained 30 kilograms,” he said.
His official profile on the JGTO website lists his height at 183 centimeters and weight at 86 kilograms, but he is now in the 90s. “Before entering high school, I weighed 60 kilograms, but I worked hard on weight training to build up my physique to 90 kilograms, and after that, my distance increased by about 70 yards (about 64 meters),” Kawamoto said. “I didn’t gain weight suddenly, but I gained muscle mass steadily, so there was no burden on my body.” “I gained the weight because I had a goal to compete in the PGA, which is the world of power golf,” he said, adding, “I’m going to try for the PGA in two years.”
Even now, he doesn’t skip weight training. “Even on game days, I come in an hour before tee time and don’t miss a workout,” he said, and when asked if he gets tired during the game, he smiled broadly as he said, “I’m fine.” As for the secret to his long swing, he said, “I try to balance my lower body by widening my legs. To maintain balance, I also keep my left knee open toward the target during the backswing, which I do for ground reaction and lower body stability.”
Thanks to his “exercise addiction,” Kawamoto’s distance in the JGTO is unrivaled. Last year, he topped the division with an average distance of 315.74 yards, and this year, he has increased his distance to 317.85 yards. However, Kawamoto is more focused on direction than distance. After all, his scores come down to the accuracy of his shots. “When I practice, I hit with 100% power, and my longest carry is 370 yards,” he says, “but in practice, I hit with about 50-60% power. It’s all about getting the ball where you want it to go.” 오래된토토사이트
Kawamoto is also known for his sibling golfers. Her older sister Yuki, who is two years her junior, won the 2019 Japan Women’s Professional Golf (JPGA) Tour. “I started playing golf seriously at the age of seven, but my older sister did it first, and my family loves golf, so I was no stranger to it from a young age,” Kawamoto recalls. As a role model, he cites Hideki Matsuyama, 31, who became the first Japanese and first Asian player to win the Masters Tournament in 2021, and says he wants to “follow in his footsteps.”