Hideki Matsuyama becomes first Japanese player to win the Masters with one-shot victory
Hideki Matsuyama made history in Augusta by becoming the first male Japanese to win a major with his victory at the Masters.
The 29-year-old held his nerve on the final day to finish 10-under, one stroke ahead of Will Zalatoris in second place.
Matsuyama held a three-shot lead going into the fourth round in Georgia but he bogeyed the 18th, leaving him one over for the day.
It didn’t matter as the chasing pack failed to take advantage, with Xander Schauffele squandering his chance to apply pressure with a triply bogey on the 16th.
At that point Matsuyama held a two-stroke lead but Schauffele’s collapse settled the five-time PGA tour winner down.
Matsuyama was presented with his green jacket by 2020 champion Dustin Johnson, who has held the title for the shortest amount of time – 147 days – in the tournament’s history owing to the unique scheduling because of the pandemic.
Schauffele recovered to finish seven-under, finishing tied in third with former champion Jordan Spieth.
Speaking to CBS after his victory, Matsuyama admitted he played a nervous final round but was delighted to make it over the line.
‘I’m very happy,’ said Matsuyama.
‘My nerves really didn’t start on the second nine. It was right from the very start until the last putt! I’m glad I played well for [my friends and family].
‘Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer and many more Japanese players will follow.” And what was the moment when he knew he was going to win? “When I hit the fairway at 18!’
England’s Justin Rose was unable to apply enough pressure on Matsuyama on the final round, finishing the round two-over and five-under overall.
Rose, who finished second in 2017, led for two rounds but his form dipped as the tournament continued.
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