Hoshino wins Qatar Masters for 1st Euro tour title

DOHA, Qatar — Rikuya Hoshino of Japan captured his first European tour title by shooting 4-under 68 to win the Qatar Masters by a stroke on Sunday.

Hoshino, 27, rolled in a par putt from 5 feet at the 18th hole and punched the air after holding off playing partner Ugo Coussaud, who made birdie at the last to finish alone in second place.

Hoshino transferred his success on the Japan Golf Tour, where he has won six times, with a victory on the European tour circuit.

“Of course I was nervous,” said the No. 107-ranked Hoshino, who shot four rounds in the 60s at Doha Golf Club, “but I tried to keep enjoying it.”

It was Hoshino’s 34th appearance on the tour and he has already had two runner-up finishes this season, at the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship.

He is the fourth Japanese winner in European tour history, after Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Hisatsune.

Hoshino started the final round in a share of the lead with Coussaud and Rasmus Hojgaard, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 68. Hojgaard faded by shooting 73.

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