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Japan's Yuma Nemoto, a 5 time World Champion is heading to the NB3 National Championship on the Golf Channel!

Yuma departing Japan for America

The golfing resume of Yuma Nemoto from Japan will make any junior golfer envious. Already a 5 time World Champion and current 10th ranked junior golfer in the USA (class of 2028), Yuma knew he had to make the transition to American golf if he wanted to reach his long-term golf goals. So as a 13 yr old, he left Japan and flew 7,000+ miles to attend school at IMG Academy in Florida. Today's Junior Golfer (TJG) connected with Yuma (via a translator) and asked him how life was going in the USA and his thoughts on qualifying for the NB3 National Championship.

TJG: Hi Yuma and thank you for taking the time to talk with us. How has the last year been for you in America?

Yuma: I think a lot of things happened. When I started studying abroad (USA), it was hard but I was helped by a lot of people. I was surprised by the differences in culture but after making friends it was fun. I was excited about the new golf course and nervous about playing in some high-level tournaments. Overall, it was a fun year even though it was hard to both study and play golf.

TJG: Are you enjoying the IMG academy? What do you do each day at the academy? What classes?

Yuma: It's a lot of fun. There is no problem with everyday conversation, but I have to learn a lot, so studying English is the main thing. The classes I have are mathematics, science, and society.

TJG: Is it hard being away from your family in Japan? Have you met new friends at the IMG Academy?

Yuma: I feel lonely when I'm away from my family, but when I get to school, I'm busy and fun, so it's okay. It was very hard when I couldn't speak English. I made a lot of friends from various countries.

TJG: How different is playing golf in the USA versus Japan?

Yuma: In the United States there are a lot of golf courses, a lot more competitors and people who are good at golf. The grass is very different here and in Japan, we practice mostly from mats.

TJG: You are a hot golfer right now, winning 3 of your last 4 tournaments, and 6 of your last 9 rounds have been under par. You've recently qualified for the NB3 National Championship, Nov 4-6, 2023, in Louisiana as well. Are you excited to be going to this tournament and to be on the Golf Channel?

Yuma: I've never seen the Golf Channel in Japan, so I actually don't know, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Yuma (middle) qualified on September 23-24 at the NB3 Regional in FL

TJG: Charlie and Tiger Woods were also in the NB3 Regional in Florida that you qualified at, did you end up playing with Charlie Woods at all?

Yuma: Our tee times were different so I did not play with Charlie, but I was happy to see Tiger Woods there caddying for Charlie.

TJG: In years 2016-2018 you were a US Kids Worlds 3-time champion (ages 6-8 yrs) at Pinehurst, NC. Do you have any good memories you would like to share?

Yuma: One of my best memories of US Kids Worlds was in 2017 when I won a playoff at 7 years old against Ajalawich Anantasethakul of Thailand. The course we played was Mid Pines (front 9).

6 yr old Yuma giving his championship speech at US Kids Worlds, his first World Championship (2016).
6 yr olds Yuma (Japan), Yunze (China) and Maverick (USA)
8 yr old Yuma accepting his Championship trophy at the US Kids Worlds (2018)

TJG: You came back to Pinehurst, NC for the 2022 US Kids World Tournament after a 3 yr break, how did you do?

Yuma: I took a 3 year break from the US Kids World Championship due to the influence of Covid. I was happy to be able to come to America again in 2022. I couldn't speak English so a Japanese friend living in Chicago took me to Pinehurst and was my caddy. He also took me sightseeing and interpreted for me, I had a good time. I ended up taking 3rd place.

Yuma placed 3rd at the 2022 US Kids World Championship
2022 US Kids Worlds practice round. Yuma with Alex, Ryan and Maverick from Arizona
Yuma and his family friend from Chicago who was his caddy (2022 US Kids World Championship)

Rapid Fire:

World Championships: US Kids - 3, IMG - 2.

Yuma holding 1 of 2 World Championships he won at IMG Worlds

Brand of Clubs: Srixon

Brand of Ball: Srixon

Biggest goal in golf: Play college golf and then PGA tour.

Favorite golfer: Tiger Woods

Typical day in the life of the golfer: I take my 3 classes from 7:40-12:40 pm. I then practice until around 6:40 pm. Dinner is at 7:00 pm, homework, shower, etc.
I go to bed around 10:00 pm.

Tournament day routine: I always arrive at the tournament an hour and a half before and practice shots, approaches, and putt. I try to go to bed early the day before.

Favorite snack during tournament: Beef jerky.

What is your favorite go to shot: Draw.

Line on your ball for putting: Yes, one line.

Cross hand putter or regular: Regular.

Golf superstitions: None.

Favorite actor: None, but I like YouTuber HIKAKIN.

Favorite music band: ONE OK ROCK.

Favorite movie: Rurouni Kenshin

Top 3 collegiate choices: ASU, University of Florida, Duke University. But I have other choices as well.

What is the best part of your game: Being able to score consistently. When I am behind, to catch up without giving up.

Interesting fact about you: When I was younger I liked Strider (Bicycle without pedals) and often went to Japanese tournaments.

Other sports: I like playing soccer, table tennis, and tennis.

Hole-in-ones: 33 times. I spent a lot of time on a short course in Japan.

How far do you carry your driver: About 270 yards.

Lowest round score: 60.

What inspired you to play golf: When I was 5 years old, I had the experience of a golf school my father took me to. I got my first golf club that day.

Exercises you do for golf: I was doing core training in Japan. Now, I do the school program exercises at IMG.

Pets: I have two dogs.

Player Profile:

Name: Yuma Nemoto

Age: 14

Grade: 8th

Country: Ichihara, Japan

Name of golf tour(s): AJGA, SFPGA, FJT, HJGT

Total Junior Wins this year: 8

Total Junior Wins (career): 284

Jr Golf Scoreboard rank: 10th (class of 2028).

Rolex Scoreboard rank: 451 (15-18 yr olds)

Sponsors: Srixon

Where can we find you on social media: Instagram