Little has gone the way Honolulu native Tadd Fujikawa might have scripted his career back in 2007 when at 16 he tied for 20th in the Sony Open in Hawaii and turned pro later that year.
But on Sunday, the diminutive Fujikawa (5-1, 150 pounds), now 26, resurfaced in the news by winning the Hawaii State Open by a stroke.
“Honestly never thought this day would come again,” Fujikawa wrote on Instagram. “My first win in 7 years.”
In October, on World Mental Health Day, Fujikawa confessed via Instagram that, “not many people know this…but I’ve gone through ‘it.’ Anxiety and depression are too real…What I have gone through may not seem as ‘bad’ or detrimental as some other people. But regardless we all have our issues and problems, just in different ways. It's how we deal with those issues and learn how to overcome them that makes us stronger and beautiful in the end.” Following is his full Instagram post about it:
Fujikawa’s first introduction to the greater golf world came when at 15 he qualified for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2006. He shot 81-77 and missed the cut.
The following January, he qualified for the Sony Open in Hawaii and became the youngest player in 50 years to make a PGA Tour cut. He followed a second-round 66 with a third-round 66 that had him tied for eighth heading into the final round.
Fujikawa chose to forego college golf and turned pro at 16. He has played in only two PGA Tour events in the last six years, tying for 19th in the 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii and missing the cut in the 2017 Sony Open.
In 2016, he tied for 19th in Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada qualifying, but missed the cut in seven of eight events. In 2017, he tied for 14th in Canada qualifying, the missed the cut in all four events he played.
On Sunday, he birdied the 17th hole at Mauna Lani Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, the margin of difference in winning the Hawaii State Open for a second time.