The 27-year-old had twice come close to lifting silverware in Australia just before Christmas but fell to LIV Golf's Joaquin Niemann at the Australian Open and Min Woo Lee at the Australian PGA Championship. Regardless, the second of the two runner-up finishes guaranteed Hoshino a tee time at the Open Championship at Royal Troon this summer.
However, while he was seen off twice before, Hoshino would not be denied this time and managed a one-stroke victory over the inspired Ugo Coussaud courtesy of a 14-under total and a closing 68.
Like Hoshino, the Frenchman was bogey-free on the back nine and at one point shared the lead with Scott Jamieson after his six-under effort over the closing stretch. But Jamieson's superb performance was not enough to deny Hoshino a debut success in Europe following six previous victories on the Japanese Golf Tour.
Speaking in his native Japanese immediately after holing the winning putt, Hoshino said: “I'm honoured to win at this wonderful tournament. I was second at the last two Australian tournaments so I'm so happy to finally win."
The moment Rikuya Hoshino became the fourth Japanese player to win on the DP World Tour 🇯🇵 🏆#CBQMasters pic.twitter.com/ljZVWvhp4HFebruary 11, 2024
Heading into the par-5 18th with a two-shot lead over Cossaud, Hoshino stuck to the game plan which had garnered him a five on the hole in all three days prior - laying up with his second before sticking a wedge to within birdie range.
But after leaving his fourth stroke worryingly short and his French rival draining a birdie putt to move within one, Hoshino needed to roll in a nervy five-footer with a touch of right to left in it to claim the spoils.
He completed his task with the minimum of fuss and became just the fourth Japanese player to win a European Tour event - behind Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Hisatsune - in the process.
Discussing his emotions on the last, Hoshino said: “Of course I was nervous, but I just tried to keep enjoying it. I was nervous all of the final round, especially the tee shot and the putt [on 18]. My heart was beating a lot.”
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Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.
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