Kazuma Kobori Earns 2024 PGA Championship Invitation

At Glance

‣ Kazuma Kobori, a New Zealander, has made a significant impact in the early stages of his professional golf career, matching Tiger Woods’ record of three victories in his first 10 starts on the PGA Tour of Australasia and earning an invitation to the PGA Championship.

‣ Before turning professional in November 2023, Kobori had an outstanding end to his amateur career, winning the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, and has since continued his success in the professional ranks, securing three victories in four starts and a DP World Tour card for the 2024-25 season.

‣ The PGA of America, operating independently from the three main circuits in men’s golf, has the flexibility to invite players to the PGA Championship based on its criteria, allowing for the inclusion of players like Kazuma Kobori and several LIV Golf League players who might not otherwise qualify through the World Golf Ranking.

Kazuma Kobori? Oh, he kicked off his pro golf career with a bang. I mean, matching Tiger Woods with three wins in his first 10 starts on the PGA Tour of Australasia? That’s not something you hear every day. When he found out, his reaction was pretty chill, just a simple “sounds good.” But, you know, he was quick to add that he’s got a long way to go before he’s really in the same league as Tiger. Still, can’t deny he’s on a promising path.

And guess what? The PGA of America noticed. They’ve given him a golden ticket, a chance to start chipping away at Woods’ Major tally. Next week, he’s teeing off at the PGA Championship. That’s huge, especially considering his whirlwind journey from amateur to pro since November 2023.

Before turning pro, this Japan-born Kiwi was already making waves. He clinched last season’s Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit. Then, as if he was playing a video game on easy mode, he nabbed three victories in four starts. Not to mention, he’s already booked a spot at The Open Championship at Royal Troon, snagged a DP World Tour card for 2024-25, and now, he’s making his debut at a Major. 2024’s been kind to Kobori, to say the least.

His story’s got some echoes of David Micheluzzi’s, another golfer who’s walked a similar path. Both clinched the Order of Merit and made their Major debut at the PGA Championship. It’s like déjà vu, but with its own unique twist.

Oh, and did I mention? The world No.432 will be rubbing shoulders with some LIV Golf League players at the PGA Championship. A bunch of them, like Talor Gooch and David Puig, got in through the back door with some late invites. Normally, you’d expect only the top-100 from the OWGR at the PGA Championship. But here’s the kicker: LIV tournaments don’t dish out world-ranking points. So, some players have slipped down the rankings, not truly reflecting their skill level.

The PGA of America, though, they play by their own rules. They’re like the cool uncle who lets you stay up late and eat ice cream for dinner. They’ve thrown the door wide open, inviting whoever they please, including World No. 644, Gooch. And with that, they’ve rounded out the field with a mix of familiar faces and fresh talent. It’s shaping up to be an interesting tournament, that’s for sure.

Elliott Mitchell
Elliott Mitchell
Elliott Mitchell is a Golf Glance Senior Writer. After earning a degree in Sports Journalism, he joined the club in 2021. Elliott is in charge of Golf Glance's news, features, and travel sections, as well as the courses.

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