Matsuyama Makes History As First Japanese Man To Win Major Golf Championship

By Daily sports on April 12, 2021

Views: 1,049

Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship on Sunday, holding his nerve down the stretch to capture the 85th Masters after a dramatic final round.

Carrying the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, Matsuyama calmly grinded out clutch pars and struck for crucial birdies in a pressure-packed march at Augusta National, hanging on over the final holes for a historic one-stroke victory.

Matsuyama took the green jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy, a top prize of $2.07 million (1.74 million euros) and a place for the ages in Japanese sports history.

“I’m really happy,” he said through a translator. “Hopefully I'll be a pioneer in this and many other Japanese will follow. I’m happy to open the floodgate and many more will follow me.

“Maybe a lot of younger golfers thought, ‘That’s an impossibility,’ but with me doing it they will realize it is possible and if they set their minds to it they can do it.”

After seeing his seven-stroke lead with seven holes remaining shaved to two shots with three to go, Matsuyama watched Xander Schauffele find water off the 16th tee on the way to a triple-bogey disaster.

“I felt like I gave him a little bit of a run and made a little bit of excitement for the tournament until I met a watery grave there,” Schauffele said. “I’ll be able to sleep tonight. It might be hard but I’ll be OK.”

Matsuyama settled for bogey but closed with par at 17 and a bogey at 18 to fire a one-over-par 73 and finish 72 holes on 10-under 278.


“My nerves really didn’t start on the second nine,” Matsuyama said. “It was from the start today to the very last putt.”

American Will Zalatoris was second in his Masters debut on 279 after a closing 70 with US three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and American Schauffele sharing third on 281.

“It was a fun week,” Zalatoris said. “I know I can play with the best players in the world.”

Matsuyama became only the second Asian man to win a major title after South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun at the 2009 PGA Championship.

Matsuyama, ranked 25th, hadn't won since the 2017 WGC Akron tournament, but 87 starts later, he matched the victory from his only other 54-hole outright PGA lead, at the 2016 WGC Shanghai tournament.

The best prior majors by Japanese men were Isao Aoki’s runner-up effort at the 1980 US Open and Matsuyama’s share of second at the 2017 US Open.

No prior Japanese player had finished better than fourth at the Masters.

Japan’s two previous major golf titles belonged to women, Chako Higuchi from the 1977 LPGA Championship and Hinako Shibuno at the 2019 Women's British Open.

The tension of the moment was on display at the start, Matsuyama hitting his first tee shot well right into trees on the way to a bogey. He shook it off at the par-5 second, blasting out of a greenside bunker and tapping in for birdie.


Matsuyama saved par at the fifth on a 20-foot putt and used a deft touch with short irons to set up birdies at the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth.

Matsuyama made bogey at the par-3 12th and hit a tree off the tee at the par-5 13th but recovered for birdie as Schauffele made his move.

Schauffele was three-over after five holes but birdied at seven and eight and reeled off four birdies in a row starting at the 12th.

“I fought hard. It was a messy start,” Schauffele said. “Hideki was robot-like for 13 holes.”

Tension grew as Matsuyama found the water over the green at the par-5 15th and made bogey while Schauffele had a tap-in birdie to pull within two shots with three holes to play.

But Schauffele’s tee shot met a watery fate at the par-3 16th and he made triple bogey, his first in any major after 1,041 prior holes.

“I was coming in hot,” Schauffele said. “Went a little hyper-aggressive at 16.”

Matsuyama, 29, would close with three bogeys in the last four holes but blasted from a bunker at 18 to six feet and two putted for bogey to win.

Matsuyama’s thoughts were on his family back home in Japan.

“I was thinking about them all the way around today,” he said. “I was playing it for them.”

One by one, Matsuyama's rivals fell back, early stumbles leaving their rallies too little and far too late.

Zalatoris, trying to be the first player to win the Masters in his debut since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, was second at the turn but bogeys at 10 and 12 dropped him back.

Spieth had three bogeys in the first six holes and not even four back-nine birdies could give him a chance.

England’s Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, had three bogeys in the first five holes and fired a 74 to finish seventh on 283, one back of Spain's third-ranked Jon Rahm and Australia's Marc Leishman.


-10 - Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) 69 71 65 73

-9 - Will Zalatoris (USA) 70 68 71 70

-7 - ander Schauffele (USA) 72 69 68 72 ; Jordan Spieth (USA) 71 68 72 70

-6 - Marc Leishman (Australia) 72 67 70 73 ; Jon Rahm (Spain) 72 72 72 66

-5 - Justin Rose (England) 65 72 72 74

-4 - Corey Conners (Canada) 73 69 68 74 ; Patrick Reed (USA) 70 75 70 69

-3 - Tony Finau (USA) 74 66 73 72 ; Cameron Smith (Australia) 74 68 73 70

-2 - Stewart Cink (USA) 74 69 72 71 ; Brian Harman (USA) 69 69 74 74 ; Si Woo Kim (Korea Republic) 71 69 74 72 ; Robert MacIntyre (Scotland) 74 70 70 72 Kevin Na (USA) 75 70 70 71 ; Webb Simpson (USA) 70 76 70 70

-1 - Tyrrell Hatton (England) 71 74 74 68 ; Collin Morikawa (USA) 73 69 75 70 ; Scottie Scheffler (USA) 73 72 71 71

1 - Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 76 70 72 71 ; Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 74 71 72 72

4 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa) 70 76 74 72


2021 - Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)

2020 - Dustin Johnson (USA)

2019 - Tiger Woods (USA)

2018 - Patrick Reed (USA)

2017 - Sergio Garcia (ESP)

2016 - Danny Willett (ENG)

2015 - Jordan Spieth (USA)

2014 - Bubba Watson (USA)

2013 - Adam Scott (AUS)

2012 - Bubba Watson (USA)

•Sourced from AFP. PHOTO: US Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama

Source Daily sports

Posted April 12, 2021


You may also like...
Bet9ja draws produce interesting clashes between top youth...

Enyimba in trouble against El-Kanemi in Calabar —...

Dig-Dong As Super Eagles Foreign Coach Search Lingers...

Djokovic Takes Federer’s World No 1 Record, Eyes...

Dele Alli out until early March with hamstring...

Ahmed Musa scores as CSKA Moscow remain atop...


Latest News You’re Not In The Same Rank With Messi –Rooney Tells Mbappe Nigeria loses to Tunisia, battles Libya for semifinals ticket Joshua threatens Usyk: ‘Punchers aren’t made, they’re born’ How Nigerian universities can become incubators of sports talent Abraham Celebrates One Year With Serie A Club Roma ‘Joshua knows he must beat Usyk in rematch to save career’ Four Nigerian athletes get ANOCA scholarships ahead Paris 2024 Olympic Games Falconets set perfect group stage record after edging Canada 3-1 Falconets set perfect group stage record after edging Canada 3-1 Nigeria brushes off Gambia, battles Tunisia today At SRAP basketball clinic, American coach, Baker, points at ways to excellence Falconets seek perfect record against Canada


Most Read Rangers International going, going . . . (50,102 views) Amaju Pinnick: A cat with nine lives (41,289 views) Second Term: Amaju Pinnick, Other NFF Heavyweights Home to Roost •How Pinnick Broke the Jinx (39,692 views) Missing $150,000 IAAF Grant: Solomon Dalung’s Hide and Seek game (39,671 views) Sports Development: Zenith Bank on the zenith (39,406 views) Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje’s solid footprints, commitment to sports development in Kano State (39,254 views) Current issues in Nigerian sports: Matters arising (38,965 views) NFF Presidency: Pinnick, Maigari, Ogunjobi, Okoye in Battle for Supremacy (38,347 views) Olopade, BET9A wave of revolution in NNL (37,723 views) Commonwealth Games 2018: Shame of Muhammadu Buhari, Solomon Dalung (36,629 views) Ibrahimovic’s Man U exit: Whose decision is it? And in whose interest? (34,993 views) John Mikel Obi: Segun Odegbami’s Outrageous Call! (34,467 views)




News Athletics (447) Basketball (305) Boxing (739) Columnists (675) Euro Soccer Update (13661) Fans Assembly (6) From the Grassroots (68) Golf (124) Interviews (17) Live Commentary (7) News (8180) NPL Glo Premier League (1316) People and Places (22) Readers Parliament (10) Tennis (940)




Phone numbers

Tel: +234(0)8066020976

Email addresses

Office address

No 3, Adetoun Close, Off College Road, Ogba, Ikeja Lagos.

Social Media