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rikuya hoshino japan

Rikuya Hoshino: From Japan’s Fairways to Global Fame

 

The popularity of golf in Asia has surged in recent years, mainly due to the success of Asian players on the global stage. Hideki Matsuyama’s historic win as the first Asian player to clinch a major championship has catalyzed this growth, inspiring a new generation of Japanese golfers. Among these rising stars is Rikuya Hoshino, who has quickly become a favorite among Japanese bettors, and with many types of bets at recommended Japanese bookmakers, punters are eager to wager on Hoshino’s potential. But how did Hoshino emerge from the shadows to become one of Japan’s most promising talents in golf?

Early Career And Pro Debut

Rikuya Hoshino, born in May 1996 in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, showed early promise in golf that hinted at a future beyond national borders. With aspirations of becoming a global golfing superstar, he transitioned from amateur success in Japan to turning professional in August 2016. It didn’t take long for the player to succeed on the Japan Challenge Tour, as he claimed victory following an excellent performance over the weekend in the Novil Cup.

Japan Golf Tour

After impressing in 2017 in the Novil Cup, Hoshino was invited to be part of the competitive Japan Golf Tour. A number of the legends of the sport have come through the tour before making their way onto global events staged on the PGA Tour. It took him 12 months to claim a first victory on the Japan Golf Tour, with his maiden success coming at the Fujisankei Classic in September 2018.

Hoshino’s victory at the Novil Cup was a commanding one, as he finished five shots ahead of his closest competitor. His breakout year came in 2018 when he ranked sixth in prize money earnings on the tour, not only securing his first professional win but also achieving eight top-ten finishes.

These consistent performances throughout the season earned him a spot in the 2018 U.S. Open, although he did not make the cut in his debut appearance. Despite this setback, Hoshino’s remarkable year was capped off with a significant accolade, as he was named the Japan Golf Tour Rookie of the Year.

Top 100 Breakthrough

His success on the course would continue into the 2019 season, as he would break into the world’s top 100 on the Official Golf Rankings for the first time in his career. Hoshino’s season started with a playoff defeat in the Kansai Open Golf Championship, but he regained his composure to win the Dunlop Srixon Fukushima Open in the second event on the Japan Golf Tour that season.

His excellent progression throughout the season continued at the Japan PGA Championship, where he finished a very impressive third. Further success would come at the start of the 2020 season, winning the Fujisankei Classic for the second time in his career following a dramatic playoff against Mikumu Horikawa.

European Tour Success

The most significant victory of his career to this point was achieved in 2023, as he surpassed all expectations to become the shock winner of the DP World Tour title following victory in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. It was a dramatic finish to the event, as he concluded the event on the European Tour a shot clear of French player Ugo Coussaud.

The season concluded on a high note, showcasing Hoshino’s impressive debut on the European Tour. Before this tournament, he had already demonstrated his talents by finishing as the runner-up in both the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship. This success on the European Tour suggests that 2024 could be a breakthrough year for the rising Asian star.

Conclusion

Hoshino has quickly become one of the most exciting players in the world of golf, and there are no limits to what the 27-year-old could be about to achieve in 2024. A huge performance in one of the major championships could be on the cards for the Japanese player this season. His previous best appearance came in 2021, as he finished in a tie for 23rd place in the US Open, while he also finished in a tie for 60th place in both the PGA Championship and The Open.

NCG

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