Since the day Ayaka Nakayama stepped onto IJGA’s campus, her dreams were always big. Golf was her passion and hard work was her way. Standing by her hard work and commitment, Nakayama used a 1-under (71) score at the one-day event held at Vero Beach Country Club on July 17, 2015, to nab one of eight qualifying spots in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is slated for August 10-16, 2015, in Portland, Ore.
The junior at University of Central Florida (UCF) will test her game at arguably the top amateur tournament in the world. The elite championship dates back to 1895 and was most recently won by then 16 year-old Kristen Gillman in 2014.
At UCF, Nakayama has competed in nine of 10 events in the most recent season and boasts a scoring average of 75.8. Her 2014-15 season was highlighted by a career-low 66 (4-under) in the final round of the Schooner Fall Classic.
Prior to her budding career as a Lady Knight, Nakayama made the journey across the globe from Japan to enroll in the IJGA’s full-time program. “I couldn’t speak any English when I arrived,” Nakayama reminisced during an interview with IJGA’s College Placement department. Fast forward through the years since and Nakayama is now confident in her second language and even more confident on the golf course.
“Ayaka embodies the ‘hard work pays off’ mantra,” UCF head coach Emily Marron stated. “She has tremendous work ethic and we are so proud of her. Her game continues to get better and I truly believe her best golf is ahead of her.”
Nakayama’s younger sister Yuki is currently a full-time student at IJGA. With a recent verbal commitment to University of South Florida (USF), Yuki Nakayama will also set her expectations high for her golf future.
The IJGA congratulates Ayaka on her accomplishments and we will follow along with all the action as the event approaches.