Rikuya Hoshino claims maiden European Tour title in Qatar

Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino produced a strong closing round at the Qatar Masters to claim his first title on the European Tour on Sunday.

The 27-year-old, in a three-way tie for the lead overnight, carded a fourth round 68 to finish on 14 under par at Doha Golf Club.

France’s Ugo Coussaud came in second, one shot behind, with Scott Jamieson a further shot adrift in third.

He became the first Japanese player to win the event and only the fourth to win on the European Tour after Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Hisatsune.

“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,” added Hoshino who was a runner-up twice in Australia at the start of the 2024 Race to Dubai European season.

He set himself on the path to Sunday’s title with a fine approach at the second for a birdie.

Scotland’s Jamieson held the clubhouse lead after a superb 65 at 12 under and was watching comfortably until Hoshino birdied the 16th and then sank a 25-footer at the next.

After Coussaud birdied the last Hoshino held his nerve to hole a four-foot putt to win and avoid a play-off.

© 2024 AFP