Japan's Hoshino wins first European Tour event in Qatar

Updated February 12 2024 - 7:10am, first published 1:05am
Rikuya Hoshino, who impressed in Australia at the end of last year, has won the Qatar Masters. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)
Rikuya Hoshino, who impressed in Australia at the end of last year, has won the Qatar Masters. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Japan's Rikuya Hoshino has captured his first European tour title by shooting a four-under 68 to win the Qatar Masters by a stroke.

The 27-year-old Hoshino rolled in a par putt from five feet at the 18th hole on Sunday and punched the air after holding off the challenge of playing partner Ugo Coussard, who made birdie at the last to finish alone in second place.

The rising Hoshino, runner-up in both the Australian Open and Australian PGA events at the end of last year, has transferred his success on the Japan Golf Tour, where he has won six times, with a victory on the European tour circuit.

"Of course I was nervous," said the world No.107, who shot four rounds in the 60s at Doha Golf Club, "but I tried to keep enjoying it."

He is the fourth Japanese winner in European tour history, after Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Hisatsune.

Hoshino started the final round in a share of the lead with Coussard and Rasmus Hojgaard, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 68. Hojgaard faded away by shooting 73.

At halfway, Hoshino had been trailing the leader, Australia's Haydn Barron, by two shots and was lying level in second place with another Aussie, Harrison Endycott.

But their challenge faded over the final two rounds, with Barron ending up tied for ninth after his last-round 71 left him at eight under, six off the pace.

Endycott finished tied for 42nd after a 73, while the other Australian Jason Scrivener ended in joint-61st following a 74.

Australian Associated Press

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