Tournament article

Kansai Open Golf Championship 2019

Rikuya Hoshino failed to win his first ever playoff with too much pressure

23 years old Rikuya Hoshino, who has 1 victory under his name was sitting at the top until the final hole of the regulation. He had 1 shot lead against Tomoharu Otsuki but he couldn't make the 7-meter birdie putt while Tomoharu made the birdie putt to get tied at total 18 under.

The battle extended to sudden death format on using the 18th hole. Rikuya is known for his big drives, and since 18th hole is a short Par 4, he played aggressively using his driver.
"I thought driver will be better, could avoid bogey. Going safely with other clubs never came across my mind. But since it was my first playoff and couldn't play as I always do. I really got nervous today", Rikuya recalled.

On the 1st playoff hole, Tomoharu was stuck in the thick rough and ended in the sand, which led him to face 6-meter par saving putt. It looked like a chance, but Rikuya also couldn't get it close enough from the left side bunker and couldn't close the deal.

On the 2nd hole, Rikuya missed his short game from right side rough, went over to the other side rough.
"I just couldn't do the things I always can."

Both on 3rd and 4th hole, Rikuya was captured at the left side bunker, and on that 4th hole Tomoharu made birdie and that was the end.

"Tomoharu was stable all the way through. His putts were good too. But I was going into roughs and had so many tough situations. I really hate playoffs."

Maybe Rikuya disliking of playoffs made him lose mentally.