Twenty-nine year old Hideki Matsuyama was crowned the newest Masters champion on Apr. 11, 2021 after the 4 day tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. This is a monumental event, as he is the first Japanese male to win the prestigious tournament, making him a new hero in his home country of Japan.
Matsuyama began his journey in the Masters tournament 10 years ago in 2011, at the early age of 19. He tied with 7 other plays for 27 place with 287 strokes, a score that accumulates over four rounds of play. He made a shocking $0 for his placing, despite his opponents also ranking 27th making around $50,000.
Coming into the Masters tournament, Matsuyama was having moderate success in the prior PGA tournaments. He regularly placed in the mid to low rankings, with his most successful tournament being the Vivint Houston Open during the first weekend of November where he placed 2nd. His odds of winning walking into the tournament were 46-1. To put it simply,the odds were not in his favor.
Mastuyama started the tournament three under par in the first round, shooting two birdies on holes two and thirteen, one bogey on hole seventeen, and an eagle on hole eight. Round two shared similar stats, with the Japanese player only scoring one under par. He scored three bogeys on holes five, ten, and sixteen, two birdies on nine and fifteen, and one eagle on 13.
His average scores in rounds one and two were soon met with great success. Round 3 was Matsuyama’s most successful round of the entire tournament, where he scored seven under par with a whopping five birdies on holes seven, eleven, twelve, sixteen and seventeen, and an eagle on fifteen. He scored a 65 out of 72, pushing him up to first place. Thankfully, Matsuyama’s incredible score in round three helped to create some wiggle room for possible mistakes in the last round. He scored one over par on the Sunday afternoon, with five bogeys and four birdies to finish off the tournament.
Matsuyama’s effort in the third round helped him secure the prestigious win, despite the tough, seasoned competition. He finished the tournament with scores of 69-71-65-73 and an overall score of ten under par. He slipped into the famous green jacket with the help from defending champion Dustin Johnson, and stated through an interpreter, “I’m really happy. Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer with this win and many other Japanese will follow. I’m glad to be able to open the floodgates hopefully, and many more will follow me. It is thrilling so many youngsters in Japan are watching. Hopefully in five years they will be competing on a world stage.” Along with the recognition, pride, and success that will follow Matsuyama’s win, he will take home $2,070,000 and an invitation to all subsequent Masters Tournaments.
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