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Hideki Matsuyama wins Masters, first man from Japan to win a major by Tampa Bay Times

Hideki Matsuyama victorious at Masters, becomes first Japanese man to win golf major | SC Asia

Hideki Matsuyama writes his name in the history books as the first male golfer from Japan to win a major championship.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Hideki Matsuyama delivered golf-mad Japan the grandest and greenest prize of all.

Ten years after Matsuyama made a sterling debut as the best amateur at Augusta National, he claimed the ultimate trophy Sunday with a victory in the Masters to become the first Japanese winner of the green jacket.

Matsuyama closed with 1-over 73 and a one-shot victory that was only close at the end and never seriously in doubt after Xander Schauffele’s late charge ended with triple bogey on the par-3 16th.

Moments before Dustin Johnson helped him into the green jacket, Matsuyama needed no interpreter in Butler Cabin when he said in English.

“I’m really happy,” said the first Japanese-born man to win one of golf’s four major championships. Two Japanese women have won majors: Hisako Higuchi won the 1977 LPGA Championship, and Hinako Shibuno won the 2019 Women’s British Open.

“I’m really happy,” said the first Japanese-born man to win one of golf’s four major championships. Two Japanese women have won majors: Hisako Higuchi won the 1977 LPGA Championship, and Hinako Shibuno won the 2019 Women’s British Open.

So masterful was this performance that Matsuyama stretched his lead to six shots on the back nine until a few moments of drama. With a four-shot lead, he went for the green in two on the par-5 15th and it bounded hard off the back slope and into the pond on the 16th hole.

Matsuyama did well to walk away with bogey, and with Schauffele making a fourth straight birdie, the lead was down to two shots with three to play.

The next swing all but ended it. Schauffele’s tee shot on the par-3 16th bounced off the hill left of the green and dribbled into the pond. His third shot from the drop area went into the gallery. It added to a triple bogey, and his third close call in a major.

Never mind that Matsuyama bogeyed three of his last four holes, the first Masters champion with a final round over par since Trevor Immelman shot 75 in 2008.

All that mattered was that uphill walk to the 18th green, needing only to blast out of the bunker and take two putts for the victory.

And that’s what he did, soaking in the moment with a few thousand spectators on their feat to celebrate a career-changing moment — for the 29-year-old Matsuyama, and he hopes for an entire country. To read more go to the link below:

https://www.tampabay.com/sports/2021/04/11/hideki-matsuyama-wins-masters-first-man-from-japan-to-win-a-major/

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