Gale, Coletta join Kobori with DP World Tour cards - PGA of Australia

Gale, Coletta join Kobori with DP World Tour cards

Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit champion Kazuma Kobori will get a head start on his DP World Tour exemption after receiving invites to play two tournaments in the next six weeks.

Kobori was presented with the Von Nida Medal as Order of Merit champion and the Rookie of the Year trophy at the completion of the season-ending The National Tournament presented by BMW at The National Golf Club on Sunday.

Brett Coletta and Daniel Gale secured the two remaining DP World Tour exemptions for 2025 on an enthralling final day of a season that will be remembered primarily for Kobori’s three Webex Players Series wins.

As Order of Merit champion, Kobori receives status for the 2025 DP World Tour season and a start at this year’s Open Championship at Royal Troon.

The 22-year-old will have just a week, however, to prepare for the move having received tournament invites to play both the Hero Indian Open (March 28-31) and ISPS HANDA Championship (April 25-28) in Japan.

“It’s actually really nice because I basically get a free run at it,” said Kobori of his upcoming starts.

“I can almost play those and see how it goes.

“Having played those, I will be better for when my exemption category through the Australasian Order of Merit starts.

“Really looking forward to it.”

It’s a remarkable rise for a young player who won the NZ PGA Championship as a 17-year-old amateur in 2019 but didn’t set amateur golf alight until 2023.

The Australian Amateur champion in January, he earned his Tour card by winning Qualifying School last April. With the lure of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in October, Kobori retained his amateur status and became just the second Kiwi after Phil Tataurangi to win individual honours at the Eisenhower Trophy.

After leading into Round 2, Kobori finished sixth at the Asia-Pacific Amateur at Royal Melbourne and turned professional a week later.

In his second start as a professional, Kobori let a six-shot lead slip at the Victorian PGA Championship but returned ready to win after the Christmas break.

He won Webex Players Series events at Cobram Barooga and Rosebud in consecutive weeks and a third inside four weeks at Castle Hill Country Club in Sydney.

That all but guaranteed he would win the Order of Merit and dramatically speed up his career trajectory.

“That’s a testament to everyone,” Kobori said of his rapid ascension.

“To be fair, I played good in amateur golf my last year but before that my world ranking had stalled between 70-100 for two years.

“It feels like I wasn’t making any progress, but I probably was. If you just keep putting in the work, it just goes to show that you can make that quick jump and you’ve got to be ready for it.

“Apart from the Vic PGA, I was able to make the most of the opportunities when they presented themselves and that allowed me to get to this position that I am today.”

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