12 February 2024

Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino wins Qatar Masters 2024

  Doha, Qatar: Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino fired a 4-under 68 on the final day to win the prestigious Commercial Bank Qatar Masters to claim his maiden World Tour title by a single stroke yesterday. At the Doha Golf Club, the 27-year-old rolled in a brilliant par putt at the 18th hole and punched the air after holding off playing partner Ugo Coussard, who made birdie at the last to finish alone in second place. Hoshino, who was in a three-way tie for the lead with Rasmus Hojgaard and Coussaud going into the final day, finished with 14-under overall to celebrate his first title after being runner-up twice in Australia at the start of the 2024 Race to Dubai. Fast-finishing Scott Jamieson was third on 12 under after a final round of seven-under 65. A fine approach to inside five feet at the second set up an early birdie and, after a bogey on the fourth, Hoshino made back-to-back gains on the fifth and sixth. A wayward drive on the seventh led to another dropped shot and Hoshino returned to 12 under with a gain at the long tenth. Jamieson was putting the finishing touches on a sensational 65 at that stage to set the clubhouse target at 12 under. That mark held firm until Hoshino drove the 16th and made birdie, before holing a 25-footer at the next to seemingly put the result beyond doubt. There was still time for Coussaud to add an element of tension at the last, as he made birdie from ten feet to leave his playing partner needing to convert from four feet to avoid a play-off, which he duly managed. The victory makes Hoshino the first Japanese winner of the event, and only the fourth in DP World Tour history after Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Hisatsune. The result also moves him comfortably inside the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking. “I’m honoured to win at this wonderful tournament,” he said. “I was second at the last two Australian tournaments so I’m so happy to finally win. “Of course I was nervous but I just tried to keep enjoying it.” Northern Irishman Tom Mckibbin finished fourth with an 11-under after he carded two-under 70 yesterday followed by Spain’s Jorge Campillo, who returned with three-under 69 for an aggregate of 278. Overnight joint leader Hojgaard finished one stroke behind for joint sixth with Frenchman Antoine Rozner, Paul Waring of England as he could score 73 on the final day.