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.

Finland’s Valimaki wins Qatar Masters 2023

DOHA:  Finland’s Sami Valimaki claimed his second European Tour title with victory over Jorge Campillo in a playoff at the Qatar Masters on Sunday, Oct. 29. The world number 177 trailed Spaniard Campillo for much of the final round in Doha but finished tied at the top after a three-under-par 69 took him to 18-under overall. Valimaki took a one-shot lead with a birdie on the 17th hole, before Campillo forced a play-off thanks to a birdie on the final green.
However, Valimaki holed a six-foot birdie putt on the first sudden-death play-off hole to secure his first tournament success since the 2020 Oman Open. “I’ve worked so hard and I feel like I’ve earned it a couple of times but it hasn’t come my way. That’s why it feels so amazing,” said the 25-year-old. Scotland’s Scott Jamieson secured his tour card for next season by finishing tied for third place with Nacho Elvira, two shots behind the top two. His compatriot Robert MacIntyre, who helped Europe to Ryder Cup glory earlier this month, had to settle for tied-sixth after a level-par 72 in his final round.

Larrazabal struggles to maintain lead on Day 2

Doha: Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal had an eagle and three birdies on the back nine as he overcame an unimpressive start on Friday at the 25th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

“It was a tough start. I didn’t expect the drive on the first to go so far right,” said Larrazabal. “It is even harder mentally when you shoot 40 on the front nine and you’re two over after three.”

Chase Hanna (66), Wilco Nienaber (68) and Adrian Meronk (70) were all one shot behind in a tie for second.

The 122nd-ranked Larrazabal, seeking his seventh DP World Tour title, shot 1-under 71 at Doha Golf Club for a 36-hole total of 9-under 135 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend.

It was a roller coaster day for the Spaniard. In the morning, when he finished hole 9, he was +4 and had fallen to 20th place.

“It was a tough start. Par-bogey-bogey was not in the plans,” said Larrazabal, who added double bogey on the par-5 ninth to complete a front-nine 40 that left him four strokes back after starting the day two shots in front.

He bounced back with an eagle at the par-5 10th before three more birdies, including the 18th.

“Mentally, you have to recover. You have to believe in the shots you plan … that’s what I did and it paid off,” said the 38-year-old, who won Pecanwood Classic in South Africa two weeks ago.

American golfer Hanna felt right at home in the windy conditions.

“Growing up in Kansas, you get a lot of wind,” the 27-year-old said. “I certainly like the wind. I feel like my game suits the wind nicely. … My iron shots were good especially on the par 3s, just kept it pretty stress free.”

Romain Langasque (71) is two strokes off the lead. Marcus Kinhult of Sweden had the lowest round with 65.

Spain’s Larrazabal shoots 64, leads by two after first round

Doha: Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal opened up a two-stroke lead after the first round at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters here at the lush green Doha Golf Club course on Thursday.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma, Denmark’s Marcus Helligkilde, Romain Langasque (France) and Adrian Meronk (Poland) were all two shots behind in a tie for second.

The highly-anticipated DP Tour event returned to its original home after the last two editions, which were held at the Education City Golf Club.

The competition is organised by Qatar Golf Association (QGA) with support from Qatar Olympic Committee, Doha Golf Club and long-term title sponsor, Commercial Bank.

“I’m very pleased. I played very solid. I missed only a couple of shots. I did an up and down there on the last green which I missed. I missed the cut last week but I played very solid golf today,” said the 38-year-old.

The tournament, which is celebrating its 25th year, features Thorbjorn Olesen, Ashun Wu and past champions Chris Wood, Jorge Campillo, Simon Rozner, Justin Harding and Eddie Pepperwell.

With the temperature soared to plus-30 degree celsius at Doha Golf Club, Larrazábal birdied his first three holes and had nine total for an 8-under 64. The 122nd-ranked player dropped only one shot, on the par-4 fifth hole.

The temperature was nice this morning but it started boiling,” he added. “It was 35 or 36 degrees, but I kept drinking a lot of water and making birdies.”

On the prevalent conditions at the course, Pablo said: “The conditions are great. When you come to a golf course that they’ve really changed, and they’ve not only changed it for us but for amateurs too. I’m sure the members here enjoy it a lot more and obviously there are a lot more pin positions for us. I think they did a great job and it’s looking magnificent.”

The tournament was first held in 1998 and since then it is considered Qatar’s annual ‘must-attend’ sporting and social event.

Defending champion Antoine Rozner, who won last year with a 60-foot putt on the last day at Education City Golf club, was tied eighth (-4) after the first day’s play.