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Matsuyama to debut as pro at Nagoya this month

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits his tee shot on the first hole during first round play in the 2012 Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta Nat
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits his tee shot on the first hole during first round play in the 2012 Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta Nat

(Reuters) - Top Japanese amateur Hideki Matsuyama will make his professional debut at this month's Token Homemate Cup, the 21-year-old golfer said on Tuesday.

"I had many top-10 finishes last year in professional competitions, and this gave me the confidence that I can make it," the 2010 and 2011 Asian amateur champion said in a statement.

"I want to become a player who can win around the world," added the golfer, whose 2011 Taiheiyo Masters triumph made him only the third amateur to win on the Japan Golf Tour.

The 130,000,000 yen ($1.39 million) Token Homemate Cup gets underway at Nagoya's Token Tado Country Club on April 18.

Currently ranked fourth among the amateurs, Matsuyama finished tied 27th to win the low amateur title at the 2011 U.S. Masters tournament and followed that up with a tied 54th finish 12 months later.

He will compete at the British Open at Muirfield in July after he came through the international qualifier in Asia last month.

($1 = 93.26 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Patrick Johnston)

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