Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia on April 11 to become the first player from Japan to claim a men’s major championship.
Matsuyama finished one stroke ahead of American rookie Will Zalatoris after carding four birdies and five bogies for a final-round score of 73 and 10-under for the four days.
He started the final round 11 under par with a four-stroke lead over four golfers — England’s Justin Rose, Australia’s Marc Leishman and Americans Xander Schauffele and Zalatoris.
Matsuyama survived some late slip-ups and a determined challenge down the back nine from the 27-year-old Schauffele, who finished 7-under, to claim the iconic green jacket in dramatic fashion.
“I felt nervous from the start of the day and right through until the end,” Matsuyama said. “I was thinking about (my family) all the way around. I’m really happy I was able to play well for them.”
The 29-year-old Ehime native said he hoped to lead the way for other Japanese golfers to win majors.
“Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer and many other Japanese will follow.”
Japan Golf Tour Chairman Isao Aoki lauded Matsuyama for his hard work.
“Every golf fan in the country has waited a long time for this moment. It must have taken blood, sweat and tears to become a Masters champion. I hope he will continue with such heart, patience and skill,” Aoki said. (Kyodo)