There is a new Short King at the PGA Championship: Japanese golfer Kazuki Higa.
The golfer from Okinawa, Japan came out blistering with 4 birdies in his first 5 holes. Through 12 holes, he shares the PGA Championship lead with Keegan Bradley at -3 but that lead is certain to change throughout the weekend.
Kazuki Higa plays on the Japan Golf Tour where he topped the money list in 2022 and earned a spot on the European/DP World Tour. He hasn’t received much TV time in American tournaments until the PGA and the golf world was surprised to see that he is just 5’2″ tall.
Golf isn’t basketball. A golfer doesn’t need to be tall to compete. Gary Player is only 5’6″. But it’s rare to see a 5’2″ athlete leading the field in men’s golf.
There were jokes:
Seeing a lot of tweets about Higa being 5'2". Just a quick fyi, this still puts him in the 80th percentile of height out there. Golfers are incredibly short. Scheffler, for instance, is barely five feet. It's sometimes hard to see on TV because they're relative to each other.
— Shane Ryan (Trustworthy) (@ShaneRyanHere) May 18, 2023
And more jokes:
Kazuki Higa right now pic.twitter.com/JLPPP7Sd7o
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) May 18, 2023
Holding a wire-to-wire lead at the PGA Championship will be virtually impossible. Higa might relinquish that lead before I even publish this article. But he’ll certainly be battling the field as hard as he can:
Kazuki Higa’s plan to hold onto this lead: pic.twitter.com/4pCjFAywZa
— ANTIFAldo (@ANTIFAldo) May 18, 2023
Who knew he was a dog guy?
Lots of talk about PGA Championship leader Kazuki Higa and not nearly enough talk about his dog pic.twitter.com/85sPxrCEh4
— claire rogers (@kclairerogers) May 18, 2023
Kazuki Higa miss the cut in his last 5 starts. There’s no way that anyone saw this coming:
Totally saw this coming for Kazuki Higa. His last five starts: pic.twitter.com/xrE4tV63Fv
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) May 18, 2023
As a fellow short king (can we call ourselves that?) that’s more on the Gary Player height spectrum, I’ll be rooting for Higa all weekend at Oak Hill.