If Hideki Matsuyama was always a little uncomfortable with his huge fame at home in Japan, he’s going to have to brace himself for adulation on a whole other level now that he’s a Major Champion!
It’s hard to believe that in the end the winning margin was a single shot as Hideki always seemed to have plenty of cushion on a Sunday that perhaps didn’t have the drama of previous years.
In the end Matsuyama’s 1-over-par 73 was good enough for a one-shot victory over first-timer Will Zalatoris, and three shots clear of Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele who just never got going on Sunday.
Just two months out from the Olympics in his home country Matsuyama becomes the first Japanese man to become a Major Champion.
“I’m really happy. My nerves didn’t start on the second nine, it was right from the start and right to the very last putt,” he said after.
With all the Butler Cabin formalities done, Matsuyama beamed broadly at the outdoor trophy ceremony jumping up and down with delight as he relaxed into the realisation of his achievement.
Tiger Woods was one of the first to congratulate Hideki by tweeting “Making Japan proud Hideki. Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment for you and your country. This historical Masters win will impact the entire golf world.”
Next up on the Major calendar is Kiawah Island for the PGA Championship on May 20th.
What’s In The Winning Bag
Driver: Srixon ZX5 (9.5 deg) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 TX shaft.
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium (15 deg) with a Graphite Design Tour AD TP 9 TX shaft
Utility: TaylorMade SIM UDI (3) with a True Temper Elevate Tour X100 shaft.
Irons (4-PW) : Srixon Z-Forged with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.
Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 Forged Prototype (52, 56, 60) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (S400 in 52) shafts.
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV
How He Did It
Using a Srixon ZX5 driver Hideki hit 36 fairways for the week (T37 in the field) averaging 288.8 yards. Key to his success were his Srixon Z-Forged irons which helped find 50 greens in regulation, T7 in the stats. On Augusta’s notoriously tricky greens the 29 year old needed 114 putts total with Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS for a tally of 3 eagles and 13 birdies versus nine bogeys.