Ewen Ferguson falls away at Cazoo Open de France as Ryo Hisatsune lands title
Hisatsune covered the daunting back nine at the 2018 Ryder Cup venue in just 30 shots to card a closing 66 and secure his maiden DP World Tour title with a winning total of 14 under par. The 21-year-old finished two shots clear of Smith and Denmark’s Jeff Winther, who had set the clubhouse target thanks to a closing 65 which included a superb birdie on the 18th.
Hisatsune began the day four shots off the lead shared by Smith and Ewen Ferguson and quickly found himself six behind as Smith birdied the first and second while Ferguson and Japan’s Kazuki Higa got off to nightmare starts. Ferguson putted across the first green and into the water to run up a double bogey six and then dropped two more shots on the next after finding more water off the tee. Higa bogeyed the first and followed Ferguson into the water on the second to make a triple bogey and effectively end his chances, but Smith was unable to build on the massive lead he had been gifted. Bogeys on the fourth, eighth and 11th allowed the chasing pack to close in and it was Hisatsune who finally overhauled the Englishman, making birdies on the 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 17th to set an unassailable target.
Hisatsune said: “It feels unreal. For me, I didn’t think I would win, but I did. I’m feeling delighted, it’s my first win, I’m so happy. I thought I had to go aggressive. I was like ‘go, go, go’. There was a lot of frustration but I had the confidence to hit a shot every time. I got some luck and I made some putts. I only turned pro three years ago, 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.”