Matsuyama got off to a great start in the first round, recording an eagle and two birdies to go minus-3. He picked up a little bit of ground by going minus-1 in the second round to head into the weekend at minus-4 overall.
But he really picked up steam on Saturday, blowing the opposition out of the water with a minus-7 performance that included an eagle and five birdies to take a four-stroke, minus-11 lead into the final round.
Will Zalatoris seemed like he’d catch Matsuyama with back-to-back birdies to start his final round, cutting Matsuyama’s lead to two. But Zalatoris lost steam on the back nine to finish minus-9.
Matsuyama similarly lost steam on the back nine, suffering four bogeys. But he ultimately held on to win by a single stroke.
It was a historic win for Matsuyama, and just about every outlet recognized the accomplishment of becoming the first male Japanese golfer to win a major. For a golf-loving nation with an estimated 9.3 million golfers, it has to be a prideful moment for him:
Hideki Matsuyama – 2021 Masters champion. #themasters
— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 11, 2021
One could see the emotion and relief at the end of Hideki Matsuyama’s #Masters win- so impressive how he handled the pressure…and expectations of his own, and his country.
— Hannah Storm (@HannahStormESPN) April 11, 2021
Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters, becoming the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship https://t.co/hR2DejcvXH
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 11, 2021
Hideki Matsuyama wins the Masters and becomes Japan’s first men’s major champion. 🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/L91AWSif3U
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) April 11, 2021
The win at Augusta was Hideki Matsuyama’s first PGA win since 2017. It also ended a three-year run without a top-10 finish in any of the majors.
After that strong performance at Augusta, Matsuyama will undoubtedly be among the betting favorites at the PGA Championship next month.
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