JGTO Abroad: Hisatsune shines

JGTO Abroad: Hisatsune shines

JGTO rising star Ryo Hisatsune continued to make waves on his DP World Tour debut season when he finished an impressive joint third at the Magical Kenya Open on Sunday.

The 20-year-old, a graduate of the 2022 DP World Tour Qualifying School, closed with a six-under-par 65 to finish the tournament at 15-under-par 269, just three shots behind winner Jorge Campillo of Spain.

Campillo shot a 66 to beat his closest pursuer Masahiro Kawamura, the only Japanese currently holding a full card on the European Circuit, by two shots.

It was Kawamura's third runner-up finish on the DP World Tour, matching his previous efforts at the 2020 Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown and 2019 Hero Indian Open.

As for Hisatsune, he has already chalked up two top-three finishes in just seven starts this season.

He announced his arrival on the DP World Tour in style by finishing tied for second at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship.

Hisatsune also came in a creditable tied-10th at the Hero Indian Open last month.

Hisatsune will remain in Africa for the next two weeks to compete in the SDC Championship, which begins in Eastern Cape on Thursday, and Jonsson Workwear Open in Johannesburg.

Hisatsune's decent run abroad certainly augurs well for him ahead of the restart of the Japan Golf Tour season, with the customary Token Homemate Cup to be held at the Token Tado Country Club Nagoya in Mie from March 30 to April 2.

Hisatsune will be eager to continue knocking on the door for a breakthrough victory as he enters the Tour for the third season.

He has eight top-10 finishes to date, with a joint runner-up finish at the ASO IIZUKA Challenged Golf Tournament being his best result.

Rikuya Hoshino and Aguri Iwasaki were also in action in Nairobi last week, but they failed to make the cut.

There was also pleasant news coming from the United States as Japanese number one Hideki Matsuyama recorded his best-ever finish at THE PLAYERS Championship, the PGA Tour's flagship tournament.

Matsuyama brilliantly bounced back after a disastrous opening 74 with rounds of 70, 67, and 68 to finish eight shots back of American Scottie Scheffler on a nine-under-par 279 total.

On the Asian Tour, Yosuke Asaji finished tied for 22nd with a 14-under-par total to emerge as the best-performing Japanese at the International Series Thailand in Hua Hin.

Kaito Onishi finished a shot further back in joint-27th, followed by Jinichiro Kozuma (nine-under), Shunya Takeyasu (seven-under), and Tomoyo Ikemura (one-over), who occupied tied-58th, tied-65th, and solo 75th, respectively.