Rikuya Hoshino the runaway leader of PGM Championship

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Rikuya Hoshino - TheGolfingHub
Rikuya Hoshino dominated the proceedings after closing with a bogey-free 63 to win his sixth JGTO title by five shots at the PGM Ishioka Golf Club in Ibaraki. Photo: JGTO

American Chan Kim registered a season’s best result on the JGTO on Sunday, with a final round of six-under-par 64 powering him to a tied-second finish at the Heiwa PGA Championship.

The 32-year-old, who finished no higher than joint-sixth this year, saved his best for last to improve his overnight position by five spots.

Related: Four years down, hope flickers for Brad Kennedy for JGTO

Penultimate stage leader Rikuya Hoshino dominated the proceedings after closing with a bogey-free 63 to win his sixth JGTO title by five shots at the PGM Ishioka Golf Club in Ibaraki.

Hoshino marked his opening five holes with three birdies to turn in 32 and never looked back since.

After the turn, he gained two more strokes on the 12th and 15th holes before capping a glorious day with an eagle on the par-five 16th.

“This is indeed a special victory for me as it was won in my hometown. I came close on several occasions (winning) this year and I finally managed to do it in front of my friends and family today. I hope with this latest victory, I can go on to win even more titles,” said Hoshino.

Kim, the reigning JGTO money list winner, rattled off four straight birdies from the 11th to reach six-under for the day, raising hopes of turning the table on Hoshino as he was trailing by just three shots at that point.

But his momentum came to halt almost immediately when he bogeyed the 15th hole.

Kim redeemed the loss stroke back with a seventh birdie of the day on hole 17, but it could do nothing to stop Hoshino from cruising to victory.

Kim is taking a bunch of positives from the morale-boosting result, which came after two top-six finishes in his recent two starts.

“I had a slow start on the front-nine. But after making four birdies on 11, 12, 13 and 14, I thought I was going to have a chance,” said the seven-time JGTO winner.

“When I bogeyed the 15th, I felt like I lost the momentum. But at least, I regained the shot with another birdie on 17. All in all, I played very well and I’m happy with my golf today.

“The key to getting this good result is that I stayed really patient. I also played really well in the last two tournaments, which helped to get my confidence back.

“I look forward to finishing the season as strong as possible.”

Australia’s Brad Kennedy had to settle for joint-fifth after failing to mount a strong challenge on the final day.

Starting the day in joint-second and just one off the pace, Kennedy could only mix four birdies with three bogeys to close with a 69 for 15-under.

Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines shot 66 to be tied for creditable 15th for his second-best result of the season.