Hisatune leads early at Ras al Khaimah Championship


Ryo Hisatune jumped into the early lead at the DP World Tour’s Ras al Khaimah Championship after an incredible birdie run.

The Japanese player birdied on each of his opening six holes as he managed a brilliant opening-round 64 at Al Hamra Golf Course, taking a two shot lead over giving him a two-shot cushion over Edoardo Molinari, Rasmus Hojgaard and England’s Matthew Baldwin.

“It was so unreal,” Hisatsune said. “I was just hitting shots, holing putts. Every time I made it. It was so amazing. It’s the first time I’ve had six birdies in a row. It’s my first event of the (calendar) year and I was a little nervous at the start, but it was an easy start. So lucky.

“(After that start) I thought ‘keep going’. On the back nine there are some tough holes. I had to keep making shots, making pars. On the last hole I was so nervous, but it was just a bogey so OK for me.”

Baldwin made four consecutive birdies on his front nine and came to close to a hole-out albatross on his final hole, while Hojgaard posted six birdies in a bogey-free start. Molinari started strongly to complete the group tied-second.

Ryan Fox – the highest-ranked player in the field – is in the group of six players on five under that includes England’s Callum Shinkwin. Defending champion Nicolai Hojgaard produced an eagle-birdie finish to salvage a one-under 71.

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