Hideki Matsuyama Captures a Historic Win on the 2021 Masters Match

On Sunday, Hideki Matsuyama obtained the 2021 Masters Match on the sphere-infamous Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership in Georgia. His profitable safe was 10 under par for the week—one shot crawl of the comfort of the self-discipline. The decisive level for Matsuyama was Saturday’s third spherical, when he shot a seven-below par 65 and vaulted from a tie for sixth construct to main by 4 pictures. Sunday’s ultimate spherical examined the 29-year-old customary Jap participant’s mettle, as he steadily noticed that four-shot lead tighten to correct a single stroke. However he by no means misplaced the lead, and he handled some down-the-stretch adversity with the grace primary to conclude out a bear in golf’s most iconic match. Throughout the job, he grew to become mainly the principle Asian-born man to bear the Masters throughout the match’s 85-year historical past.

Each Masters creates recollections, however some years are extra memorable than others. Matsuyama’s triumph at Augusta should peaceful stand the take a look at of time as one among the many match’s most enjoyable outcomes, each in consequence of how Matsuyama performed and the way he obtained there. Proper right here’s a extra in-depth detect at his historic victory.

Matsuyama Was once Due for a Defend at Most primary Match

Matsuyama has been one amongst mainly essentially the most fundamental acceptable golfers on this planet for a decade. He first emerged onto the sphere stage on the Masters Match in 2011: At correct 19 years quaint, he positioned first amongst amateurs throughout the self-discipline. His one-below par safe that week was best correct for a tie for twenty seventh complete, however in his Masters debut, Matsuyama demonstrated he had the expertise to be an enormous participant for the following era. He obtained 5 instances on the PGA Tour between 2014 and 2017 and reached as excessive as No. 2 throughout the Official World Golf Rating. He had a chance to be mainly essentially the most fundamental golfer on this planet.

Then Matsuyama’s progress stalled. He didn’t bear a match from 2018 to 2020, and he completed each of those years correct originate air the tip 20 on this planet. Alongside the capability, he had a handful of conclude to misses in primary tournaments. He led in the future of the ultimate spherical of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hole in Charlotte, however he cratered over his closing 9 holes and completed tied for fifth—a 12 months after ending tied for fourth throughout the similar event.

Alongside along with his Masters bear this 12 months, Matsuyama proved he’s now not correct an expert participant—he’s able to profitable primary championships, too.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits his tee shot on the third gap in the future of the ultimate spherical of the 2021 Masters Match. JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

He Had an Complete Nation Throughout the again of Him

Should you help adequate mountainous tournaments in particular person, you’ll witness one factor irregular. The supreme crowd of journalists and photographers steadily follows Tiger Woods. Subsequent could presumably properly perhaps additionally very accurately be Phil Mickelson, and even Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy. After these superstars, the supreme throng is generally the one following Matsuyama as he loops spherical his 18 holes.

Matsuyama attracts a trim following on the course on chronicle of he’s extraordinarily modern in his native Japan. His success has been some extent of pleasure for Japan’s golf followers and non-followers alike, and he has even severely change one factor admire an envoy for his home nation: In 2017, he accompanied Jap high minister Shinzo Abe for a spherical of golf with President Donald Trump.

Matsuyama is now the nation’s first primary winner throughout the males’s sport. Two Jap women people had already obtained majors: Hisako Higuchi on the 1977 LPGA Championship and Hinako Shibuno on the 2019 British Supply. Matsuyama’s bear additionally caps a trim two-week run for Japan at Augusta Nationwide: 17-year-old customary Tsubasa Kajitani obtained the Augusta Nationwide Women’s Novice Championship the weekend sooner than the Masters started.

Hideki Matsuyama in the future of the inexperienced jacket ceremony JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE

Matsuyama’s Defend Busts Historic Narratives About What It Takes to Defend a Most primary

There are two quaint cliches about contending in primary championships. First, there’s the idea that majors are determined on the putting inexperienced greater than anyplace else; in different phrases, mainly the principle to victory is to sink adequate frosty putts to outlast the opponents. 2nd, there’s a thought that majors come all of the formulation right down to “ending stable,” as if Sunday’s ultimate spherical counts greater than different days.

Matsuyama’s victory flies throughout the face of each of those strategies. Matsuyama entered the week a hundred and seventieth on the PGA Tour this 12 months in strokes gained whereas putting, an developed stat that measures what number of strokes a participant optimistic facets or loses to the self-discipline by how accurately he putts. He putted accurately at Augusta however didn’t precisely high-tail up the greens. In its arrange, he hit his tee and iron pictures accurately and place himself in a sequence the place he didn’t have to be a hero as quickly as he obtained conclude to the outlet.

His bear additionally wasn’t in consequence of any principal success throughout the ultimate spherical. Matsuyama constructed his lead on Saturday and spent Sunday narrowly clinging to it. He got here conclude to dropping it for correct when Xander Schauffele made 4 birdies in a row from holes 12 to fifteen. On the closing of those, Matsuyama hit a ball into the water, giving Schauffele a chance to tie or bear the lead on the following gap.

In its arrange, Schauffele made a triple bogey on that gap. Matsuyama made a bogey himself however peaceful gained two pictures on Schauffele, and lastly obtained by a shot over 2nd-build finisher Will Zalatoris. (Schauffele and Jordan Spieth tied for third, three pictures throughout the again of Matsuyama. Spieth, too, had made a triple-bogey earlier throughout the week.)

And perhaps that’s mainly essentially the most entertaining lesson of all in Matsuyama’s bear: He didn’t elevate out it by being obliging. He did it by sustaining off the obligatory errors others couldn’t.


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