In this week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, recent first-time DP World Tour winner Ryo Hisatsune talks of his pride at his place in Japanese golf history, being indebted to the support of a fellow countryman and why he relishes playing an international schedule.
In my rookie season on the DP World Tour, to have won the Open de France - an event with such a rich history - and become the third Japanese winner in DP World Tour history after Isao Aoki and Hideki Matsuyama is an honour.
Winning at such a difficult venue as Le Golf National was a confidence booster for what I can achieve. Being able to card a back nine of 30 in the final round was a surprise to me as well and I feel most lucky to have such an outcome.
I’ve yet to do any big celebration, but I was able to enjoy my time back in Japan with warm messages from friends and family congratulating me on the win.
It all seems a long way from when I got into golf through my dad taking me to the golf range when I was around three years old. It was a nurturing environment and my introduction to the game motivated me to continue playing golf. There were many professional golfers at the driving range that I got to know and older classmates who were golfers at my school. By the time I was eight or nine, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the sport.
As an amateur, the strength of my game was my length off the tee and accuracy with the driver. My two main heroes growing up were, without a doubt, my countrymen Ryo Ishikawa and Hideki Matsuyama.
I owe a lot to Masahiro Kawamura and having him on Tour alongside me certainly contributed to my win. He’s been kind enough to share his experiences and his knowledge about the courses that were new to me, as well as taking me to places with great food when we’re off course. I don’t think I would have been able to have as much fun playing golf on Tour if it weren’t for him.
Visiting different countries around the world beats how tough playing an international schedule can be any day. I simply love to travel and enjoy exploring new countries.
Being able to play golf surrounded by captivating nature and animals made South Africa an unforgettable experience. But, in terms of my favourite location that I have visited so far on the DP World Tour, Le Golf National and France has a special place in my heart.
At the start of the season, my initial goals were to finish in the top 110 on the Race to Dubai to secure more playing rights for another season, and try to finish among the top 50 on the season-long rankings. Now I want to obtain one of the ten PGA TOUR cards available by finishing among the leading players not already exempt.
My biggest learning as I near the end of the season is not to take everything too seriously. There are numerous things that can and won’t go the way you intend it to be. That’s the case both on and off the course. In any situation, I’ve learned that being adaptable and flexible can make a bad situation better.