Lessons from past aid Mikumu Horikawa’s ascent at ABC C’ship

Mikumu Horikawa - TheGolfingHub
With the win at ABC Championship, Mikumu Horikawa, who had won the Japan PGA Championship in August, became the sixth multiple-winner of the season in Japan. Photo: JGTO

Mikumu Horikawa bagged his second JGTO title of the season, and fourth overall after claiming a two-shot victory at the Mynavi ABC Championship on Sunday.

The 29-year-old posted a five-under-par 67 to hold off Hiroshi Iwata, Daijiro Izumida and Riki Kawamoto, making up for his near-miss at the ABC Golf Club last year.

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Horikawa went into the final round tied for the lead but ended up joint-second and two shots adrift of Yosuke Asaji.

Starting the day just one shot off the pace, Horikawa overturned the deficit by firing six birdies, including four on his front-nine, against a lone bogey to finish on 17-under 271.

With the win, Horikawa, who had won the Japan PGA Championship in August, became the sixth multiple-winner of the season after Kazuki Higa, Shugo Imahira, Yuki Inamori, Riki Kawamoto and Taiga Semikawa.

“I think my game fits very well with this course. It’s a highly strategic course with the fastest greens in Japan, something I’m very comfortable with,” said Horikawa, who needed just 13 putts for his solid front-nine.

“It was a tough battle and I’m really grateful to my caddy for providing me with sound advice throughout the day.”

Horikawa’s other two wins were secured at the Japan Golf Tour Championship in 2019 and Casio World Open in 2021.

Sanghee Lee of South Korea was the best-performing international player of the week in tied-seventh after closing with 68 for 12-under 276, followed by countryman Hyunwoo Ryu who also carded a matching 68 to sit a further shot back in tied-ninth.

Justin De Los Santos of the Philippines shot a 68 to cap off a great comeback in joint-11th, 40 rungs higher than where he was in the first round.

The creditable outing helped De Los Santos climb to 29th on the JGTO Money Rankings, boosting his hopes to make the top-30 cut for the season-ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup next month.

De Los Santos was joined at 10-under by fellow international members Brad Kennedy of Australia and Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand, who signed off with 68 and 71 respectively.

Despite missing out on the top-10, Gunn’s bid to keep his Tour card is taking shape after moving up to 64th in the money list.

He needs to stay in top-65 bracket to retain full playing privileges for next year.