Hisatsune becomes first Japanese player to win DP World Tour’s Rookie of the Year Award

The 21-year-old won the Cazoo Open de France and posted seven other top-10 finishes as he ended his debut season in 17th position on the Race to Dubai

By KT Golf

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Ryo Histsune (Japan) wins Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award for the 2023 DP World Tour season. - Supplied photo
Ryo Histsune (Japan) wins Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award for the 2023 DP World Tour season. - Supplied photo

Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 7:59 PM

Ryo Hisatsune was voted as the DP World Tour’s top rookie after a memorable season that saw the 21 year-old Japanese player win the Cazoo Open de France and earn dual membership with the PGA Tour.

Hisatsune became the first Japanese golfer to receive the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award, beating a list of contenders that included highly rated Swede and Ryder Cupper Ludvig Aberg.

Hisatsune had a strong finish to his season after winning in Paris – with a tied 21st in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, ninth in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and tied 18th at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, at Jumeirah Golf Estates with rounds of 73, 69, 66 and 69.

Statistics wise he came 11th in Driving Accuracy and 19th in Greens in Regulation – an impressive mix for good consistent golf.

Japan's Ryo Hisatsune. - AP File
Japan's Ryo Hisatsune. - AP File

Hisatsune was outside the world’s top 200 at the start of the 2023 season. Three years ago, he lost his card on Japan’s leading tour.

Now he's preparing to play against the best in the world on the other side of the Atlantic after finishing among the top 10 players in the DP World Tour’s season-ending Race to Dubai Rankings who were not already exempt for the PGA Tour. He posted eight top-10 finishes, including the win in France, and is ranked No. 81 in the world.

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“I’m so happy, it’s such a surprise,” Hisatsune said. “This season has been such an experience on the DP World Tour, it’s been so exciting. Winning the Open de France was amazing for me. I’ve been working so hard, and it was such a good result. I was so happy and very honored to become a Japanese winner on the DP World Tour.

The Rookie of the Year Award was first presented in 1960 and historical recipients include:

1963 – Tony Jacklin (Eng).

1977 – Nick Faldo (Eng).

1978 – Sandy Lyle (Scot).

1986 – Jose Maria Olazabal (Spain).

1988 – Colin Montgomerie (Scot).

1996 – Thomas Bjorn (Den).

1999 – Sergio Garcia (Spain).

2014 – Brooks Koepka (US).

2017 – Jon Rahm (Spain).

2019 – Robert MacIntyre (Scot).

2022 – Thriston Lawrence (RSA).


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