Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin secured his first top-10 finish of the season as Rikuya Hoshino claimed his first DP World Tour title at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
The 27-year-old from Japan, twice a runner-up in Australia at the end of last year, carded a closing 68 to finish on 14 under par at Doha Golf Club.
That was one ahead of France’s Ugo Coussaud, with Scotland’s fast-finishing Scott Jamieson third on 12 under.
McKibbin started the final round just one shot off the lead but could only manage a closing two-under 70, making birdie on the two par-fives on the back nine. The 21-year-old Holywood Golf Club member takes home a cheque for €116,000, taking his earnings this season on the DP World Tour over €300,000.
Hoshino went into the final round tied at the top with Rasmus Højgaard and Coussaud and the leaderboard remained congested until the six-time Japan Tour winner made a decisive late move.
Jamieson had set the clubhouse target at 12 under after a stunning 65 and Hoshino and Coussard were both on the same mark until Hoshino drove the 16th and made birdie, before holing a 25-footer at the next to seemingly put the result beyond doubt.
There was still time for Coussaud to add an element of tension at the last as he made birdie from 10 feet to leave his playing partner needing to convert from four feet for par to avoid a playoff, which he duly managed.
The victory makes Hoshino the first Japanese winner of the event, and only the fourth player from his country to win in DP World Tour history after Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Hisatsune.
The result also moves him comfortably inside the top 100 of the world rankings.
“I’m honoured to win at this wonderful tournament,” he said. “I was second at the last two Australian tournaments so I’m so happy to finally win. Of course I was nervous but I just tried to keep enjoying it.”