Hideki Matsuyama Wins the Masters

Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters on Saturday, April 10. He became the first Asian-born man to win the Masters. Matsuyama led the final round from start to finish becoming the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship. He began the fourth round with a four-stroke advantage, while shooting a one-over-par 73 on Sunday, April 11. Matsuyama’s victory will make him a national hero in golf-crazed Japan, which has had a rich history of producing world class male golfers who have gotten close, but never quite won a major championship.

Matsuyama was a five-time winner on the PGA tour and the low amateur at the 2011 Masters, so he has long been considered the gofer from Japan that would break through on golf’s biggest stage. Four years ago, Hideki was ranked as high as second in the world but he soon fell into a slump and was not on the same level he was usually playing on. Until Sunday, he had not won a tournament since 2017, and his ranking trickled all the way down to 25 in the world.

Matsuyama is normally followed around by a large crowd of Japanese media members at every event he plays worldwide, but with restrictions due to coronavirus he did not get that this year. Few reporters at all could attend the 2021 Maters. When asked about this Saturday night if a diminished media presence had been helpful to him, he smiled. Matsuyama says, “It’s not my favorite thing to do, to stand and answer questions.” He said he understood the role of reporters at events, but he felt with fewer media, there has been a lot less stress on himself.