Sport - Golf - Ryo Hisatsune
Ryo Hisatsune of Japan with maiden win on DP World Tour Image Credit: Suppplied

21-year-old Ryo Hisatsune has become the first Japanese player to win on Continental Europe in over 40 years as he claimed the Cazoo Open de France on the DP World Tour.

The DP World Tour Qualifying School graduate started the final round at Le Golf National four strokes off Englishman Jordan Smith’s lead, but burst into life on the back nine to capture Continental Europe’s oldest national open.

Hisatsune posted both a pair of birdies and bogeys on the front nine to make the turn at level par before a birdie at the tenth proved to be the catalyst for a brilliant title charge. Four more birdies followed, including a simple six-foot conversion at the tough 17th hole, as he closed out a five under par round of 66 with a par at the 18th to reach 14 under par which wouldn’t be matched and secure a two-stroke victory.

First win in pro career

‘It’s been nothing like I thought (DP World Tour career so far). I only turned pro three years ago, the first years playing in Japan, then on to the DP World Tour through Q School. Now I’m here with my first win in my pro career – it’s so amazing.’

Hisatsune has also written his name into the record books by becoming just the third Japanese winner in DP World Tour history. Isao Aoki was Japan's first DP World Tour winner at the 1983 Panasonic European Open, and Hideki Matsuyama at the 2016 WGC-HSBC Champions, with Matsuyama also since adding another World Golf Championship title in 2017 and the 2021 Masters Tournament to Japan’s collection.

The Japanese star’s victory moves him 26 places to 11th on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex. Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy still sits number one with Spain’s Jon Rahm in second place, who both last week confirmed their attendance for the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Earth Course, Dubai week commencing 13th November 2023.

Dubai-resident Ewen Ferguson started the final round as an overnight leader. Two opening double-bogeys ended his chances as he finished in a tie for 10th. England’s Jordan Smith was also top of the leaderboard at the start of play, a one over par round of 72 to share second place with Denmark’s Jeff Winther on 12 under par, with fellow Dane Rasmus Højgaard finishing a shot further back in fourth place. While Austria’s Lukas Nemecz rounded out the top five on ten under par.

The DP World Tour is still in action this week with the team event of Europe vs USA in The Ryder Cup at Marco Simone in Rome, Italy. The next regular tournament is the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship played across three golf courses the Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie Golf Links and Kingsbarns Golf Links in Scotland between October 5th – 8th.