Tournament article

Japan PGA Championship 2022

Horikawa emerges victorious again

Horikawa emerges victorious again

Mikumu Horikawa returned to winning ways after cruising to a three-stroke victory at the Japan PGA Championship, the second major event of the season, as Scott Vincent came in a laudable joint-seventh, on Sunday.


The 29-year-old Horikawa carded a one-under-par 70 at the Grand Fields Country Club in Shizuoka for a final score of 15-under 269 ahead of Naoyuki Kataoka (272) and Taiki Yoshida on (273).


"I was not feeling nervous. For me, I just want to win every tournament that I tee up. So, I'm glad I managed to do it again today. I'm looking ahead to more challenges and I want to replicate my form abroad and do well overseas like on the Asian Tour," said Horikawa.


Horikawa has now won a title each season as he also triumphed in the JGTC Mori Building Cup Shishido Hills (now the BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup) in 2019 and the Casio World Open in November last year.


Making his JGTO debut in 2015, Horikawa emerged as one of the most consistent players in the last two seasons when he finished sixth and seventh in 2019 and 2020/21 respectively on the Money Rankings.


However, he has yet to reproduce the same kind of form yet this year.


Although he only missed a cut in nine appearances, his best result was a modest tied 22nd at the ASO IIZUKA Challenged Golf Tournament.


Meanwhile, Vincent marked his return to Japan with yet another top-10 finish, his 19th overall on Tour.


The 30-year-old, who is enjoying the support from his wife and daughter, bounced back from a double bogey on the third hole to salvage a solid 69.


He responded with birdies on holes five, 12, 13 and 16 to finish eight shots behind Horikawa on 277. 


Vincent, the Mizuno Open winner in May, hopes to carry the fine momentum to Asian Tour next week where he will play in the International Series Singapore next week.


He aims to peak in time for his title defence bid at KBC Augusta later this month.


"I'm excited for the way it's going," said Vincent.


"Each tournament I have four goals, that's to give my best, to stick to my routine, to be present and to be grateful.


"I think I did a really good job of that this week, and I'm going to be a little bit better next week.


"I love coming back to Japan, it's so good to be back and excited for KBC."


Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines had to settle for joint 20th after he could only post a 73 to finish on 281.


It was his second top-20 finish in as many tournaments after came in also tied-20th at the ASO IIZUKA Challenged Golf Tournament in May.