Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama won the 85th Masters at the famed Augusta National in Georgia in dramatic fashion last week, the first golfer from his country ever to accomplish the feat.
Matsuyama, who is idolized by millions back home, shot a 10-under par 278 over four days, and emerged victorious by just a single stroke over runner-up American Will Zalatoris.
The 29-year old pro squandered a seven-shot lead in the tournament’s last seven holes, but managed to pull his nerves together to notch the historic win.
For his efforts, Matsuyama romped off with $2.07 million and, more significantly, the iconic green jacket which is given to the champion.
He becomes only the second Asian male golfer to win a major golf title, after South Korea’s Y. E. Yang bagged the 2009 PGA Championship.
Golf’s four major championships are the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters.
With his victory, Matsuyama joins the ranks of golfing legends such as Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Gary Player and Phil Mickelson.
Aside from Matsuyama, Japan’s other major golf titles are owned by women – Chako Higuchi in the 1977 LPGA Championship and Hinako Shibuno at the 2019 Women’s British Open.
Photo: The Boston Globe