Sport - Golf - Ryo Hisatsune
Ryo Hisatsune walking down 18th fairway on his way to the clubhouse lead Image Credit: Harry Grimshaw, Gulf News

Ryo Hisatsune (Jap) shot an opening round of eight under par 64 to lead by two shots in the $2 million Ras Al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah on the DP World Tour.

The 20 year-old, was immediately on the front foot with seven birdies in his first eight holes teeing off on hole one, with pars on holes seven and nine to go to the turn in 29. He qualified for the DP World Tour through the recent Q-School with card number 7.

Further birdies on holes 10 and 15 saw him move clear ahead of the field but a disappointing bogey six on the 18th, his only real mistake of the day, saw him having to settle for a back nine of 35 and a two shot lead.

Hisatsune is currently 30th in the Race to Dubai Ranking and 210 in the OWGR. His career best tournament was a tied second place in the 2022 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship.

Sport - Golf - Ryo Hisatsune
Ryo Hisatsune leading after round one at Al Hamra Golf Club Image Credit: Harry Grimshaw, Gulf News

The event is number nine on the 2022 – 2023 DP World Tour that boasts 44 in total.

In tied second are Matt Baldwin (Eng), Eduardo Molinari (It) and Rasmus Hojgaard (Den) on 66.

Tied fifth on five under par, one shot further back, are six players, including OWGR number 30, Ryan Fox (NZ), a winner at Ras Al Khaimah last year with a 22 under par four round total.

The weather was kind all day, with the wind, so often a challenge over the exposed Peter Harradine designed course, forecast to be a constant 10 mph all four days, ideal conditions for good scoring.

Of the locally based players: Dubai based Adrian Meronk (Pol) shot 68, to be tied in 11th, thanks to two birdies and an eagle three from the 13th tee, Adri Arnaus on 69, and fellow Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello on 71. Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) and Adrian Otaegui (Spain), both sit on level par 72.

72 players are under par after today’s first round.

Round One Leaders (Par 72, 7,400 yards)

R. Hisatsune (Jap) 64 (-8)

M. Baldwin (Eng) 66 (-6)

E. Molinari (It) 66 (-6)

R. Hojgaard (Den) 66 (-6)