Matsuyama, the Asian with the most victories

The winner of the 2021 Masters in Augusta erased the six-shot deficit he had with Patrick Cantlay going into the final 18 holes

by Andrea Gussoni
SHARE
Matsuyama, the Asian with the most victories
© Getty Images Sport - Harry How / Staff

The 62 is on trend. With the same scorecard that David Puig used to win the Malaysia Open, Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama staged a historic comeback to clinch victory at The Genesis Invitational, the PGA Tour event in Los Angeles with the lowest final round score in tournament history.

He finished three strokes ahead of Will Zalatoris and Luke List.

Hideki Matsuyama, results

The winner of the 2021 Masters in Augusta erased the six-shot deficit he had with Patrick Cantlay going into the final 18 holes, aided by the fact that the American (72 strokes) played the final round, as revealed by his coach, with a slight fever.

It was a Sunday of three sequences for Matsuyama, during which he sank three consecutive birdies in each. The first, in the opening three holes, helped him realize that the chase was possible; the second, between the 10th and 12th holes, propelled him to the top with a 15-meter putt.

With the third, initiated with a brilliant 6-iron shot from 170 meters against the wind that landed a foot from the hole, he sealed the victory, his ninth on the PGA Tour. This victory also made him the Asian golfer with the most victories in the history of the circuit, surpassing South Korean KJ Choi.

The champion thus closes a difficult period where a neck injury affected his performance in the last two seasons. "I even thought I would never win again," said Matsuyama. On a day of almost complete happiness, the Japanese only missed the photo with the host, Tiger Woods, who withdrew with the flu on Friday and couldn't fulfill the traditional meeting that featured Jon Rahm in 2023.

Ironically, his comeback was the largest on the PGA Tour since Rahm's in The Sentry, seven strokes, last year. Hideki had to settle for congratulations through the X platform. Hideki Matsuyama is a Japanese golfer born on February 29, 1992, in Matsuyama, Japan.

Turning professional in 2013, he has won the Asian Amateur Championship in 2010 and 2011, five PGA Tour tournaments, eight Japan Golf Tour events, and two World Golf Championships. He is the highest-ranked Japanese golfer of all time in the World Golf Ranking, reaching second place thanks to his runner-up finish at the 2017 US Open.

He made history as the first Japanese player to win a major tournament, clinching the Masters Tournament in Augusta in 2021. Amateur Career Starting in 2010, he studied at Tohoku University in Sendai. He won the Asian Amateur Championship in 2010 with a score of 68-69-65-67=269.

This victory qualified him for the 2011 Masters Tournament, where he became the first Japanese amateur to compete. He finished 27th overall, earning the Silver Cup awarded to the best amateur. He was also the only amateur to make the cut.

The following week, he placed third at the Japan Open Golf Championship on the Japan Golf Tour. At the 2011 Summer Universiade, he won gold in both individual and team events. In October 2011, he successfully defended his title at the Asian Amateur Championship and qualified again for the Masters.

In November, he secured his first professional victory at the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters on the Japan Golf Tour. In August 2012, Matsuyama became the world's number one amateur in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Patrick Cantlay
SHARE