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Hideki Matsuyama wins the Masters, Japan’s first major championship

Hideki Matsuyama wins the Masters, Japan’s first major championship

Hideki Matsuyama overcame some shaky play to capture his first major championship on Sunday at Augusta National – making him the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship.  Matsyuama was also the low amatuer at the Masters in 2011.  Finishing in the top 30.

Matsuyama shot a one over 73 – his highest of the week – settling him in at -10, one stroke ahead of Will Zalatoris (-9).  Matsuyama entered the day with a four stroke lead and even took it to five before a scare at the par-5 15th opened the door for Xander Schauffele.  Schauffele was on a silky smooth streak of birdies before dunking on in the water on hole 16.  A disappointing finish for a tour favorite and a guy who is almost definitely going to win here soon.

Matsuyama’s previous best finish in a major came at the 2017 U.S. Open, he finished tied for second. He joins Hisako Higuchi (1977 LPGA Championship) and Hinako Shibuno (2019 Women’s British Open) as Japan’s major champions.

And now onto Jordan Spieth.

On Sunday he shot 70 to tie Schauffele for third at 7 under, which marks his fifth top-three finish in eight starts.  Jordan entered the day knowing he had to chase down the winner and sometimes when that happens things go array.  He started slow.  Bogeys on one, five and six offset the couple of birdies on the front.  It was another strong show from Jordan at Augusta and should give Spieth fans even more confidence heading into the Spring and Summer months.

It’s not every year that such a historic win takes place.  Much will be made about how much this win will mean to the nation of Japan.  But first, this is a wonderful win for Matsuyama.  He’s carried an immense amount of pressure on his shoulders – more than most on Tour and now he’s lived up to the moment he was burdened with.  Great to see it.

 

There are two things I love more than anything - golf and hockey. Well, also the NFL... and the NBA...who am I kidding. I just love sports.

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