Hisatsune sets the pace in Ras Al Khaimah Championship


2023-02-03 00:57:19

Japan’s Ryo Hisatsune has turned a blistering start into a two-shot lead as Rasmus Hojgaard set about keeping the title in the family in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

Hisatsune birdied the first six holes at Al Hamra Golf Club in the UAE on Thursday, then picked up further shots on the eighth and 10th to raise the prospect of carding just the second 59 in DP World Tour history.

And although the 20-year-old could only make one further birdie, on the 15th, before dropping his only shot of the day on the 18th, the resulting eight-under-par 64 left him on top of the leaderboard.

Hisatsune, who gained his card from the qualifying school in November, told Sky Sports: “It was so unreal, so amazing.

“It’s the first time I’ve made six (birdies) in a row and I was nervous to start. I tried to keep going but there are some tough holes on the back nine.”

Hojgaard, whose twin brother Nicolai won the title 12 months ago, carded six birdies in a flawless 66 to share second with Ryder Cup vice-captain Edoardo Molinari and England’s Matthew Baldwin, with defending champion Nicolai finishing eagle, birdie to recover from a poor start and shoot 71.

“A 66 is probably not as good as it sounds,” said Rasmus, who had to withdraw from the recent Hero Cup due to a shoulder injury.

“It wasn’t as pretty on the course as it was on the scorecard. I managed to get away with a few shots and holed a few good putts. Overall it was a very good day.”

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, who felt he was “half defending” the title this week after winning on the same course last year, revealed he was also on the mend after carding an opening 67.

“I woke up with a bit of a dodgy stomach this morning but took a couple of pills and feel fine now,” Fox said.

“I’m still a bit lethargic but have managed my energy levels pretty well this week. Hopefully by tomorrow or Saturday I’ll be feeling 100 per cent again.”

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Source by [earlynews24.com]