Menu Close

Yuto Katsuragawa Triumphs at ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan

Yuto Katsuragawa

Yuto Katsuragawa, a rising star in Japanese golf, captured a memorable three-shot victory at the ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP held at the Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course in Japan.

Starting the final day three shots behind the leader, the 25-year-old produced a spectacular performance, especially on the back nine, to clinch his first DP World Tour title.

Katsuragawa’s win is significant, as he continued a trend of successful Japanese golfers on the DP World Tour.

His remarkable final round included five birdies in seven holes, allowing him to finish with a course-record equalling 63 and a total score of 17 under par.

Yuto Katsuragawa: I have been practising a lot to stand on the big stage. I knew that if I won this tournament I could get an exemption onto the DP World Tour, which is really great. In the end I got the win and I am very happy about it.

I did not show nerves but actually it was the opposite, I was very nervous on the back nine. My hands were shaking! But I trusted myself and I managed to bring my best golf.

I knew that if I could get into the top ten on the DP World Tour (at the end of the season) I could also go onto the PGA TOUR, so yes I will become a DP World Tour now and I aim to be a PGA TOUR member in the future.

Winning in Europe definitely motivated me, and I thought I had to be mentally stronger. This tournament was held in Japan on the familiar course. I have not experienced winning abroad yet. I aim to win on a bigger stage internationally.

I want to go abroad as soon as possible. I have not been to Europe, so I am not quite sure how to book flights and hotels. I need to sort them out first.

I felt frustrated by not knowing which way to go, but I chose to focus on the Japan Tour and this got me this result. I’m glad I set my mind on playing in Japan because now I can play on the DP World Tour.

This dominant display left his closest challenger, Sebastian Söderberg from Sweden, three shots behind.

Söderberg carded a respectable 67 on the final day but couldn’t keep pace with Katsuragawa’s surge.

The victory marked the second consecutive win for a Japanese player in a DP World Tour event, following Keita Nakajima’s success at the Hero Indian Open.

This momentum is part of a recent wave of success for Japanese golfers, with Ryo Hisatsune’s win at last season’s Cazoo Open de France, Rikuya Hoshino’s 2024 victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, and Katsuragawa’s back-to-back wins in this event.

Reflecting on the historical context, Isao Aoki became the first Japanese winner in DP World Tour history in 1983, but it wasn’t until 33 years later that another Japanese golfer, Hideki Matsuyama, achieved the same feat.

Matsuyama’s subsequent wins, including his 2021 Masters Tournament victory, paved the way for a new generation of successful Japanese golfers on the international stage.

Other notable performances at the ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP included Japan’s Ryosuke Kinoshita, Ivan Cantero from Spain, German Marcel Schneider, and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who all tied for third place with scores of 12 under par.

Looking ahead, the DP World Tour’s Asian Swing concludes with the Volvo China Open, the final event where players can secure exemptions into the US PGA Championship next month.

Positions one to three in the final Asian Swing Ranking will receive this coveted opportunity, adding to the excitement of the upcoming tournament.