The 25-year-old won his second WGC with a sublime 61 at Firestone
Hideki Matsuyama Wins WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Hideki Matsuyama won his second World Golf Championship with a sensational final round 61 at Firestone to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
His nine under par round got him to 16 under, five ahead of overnight leader Zach Johnson.
The 25-year-old made seven birdies and an eagle in a flawless round.
Hideki will now go into next week’s USPGA Championship as one of the strong favourites.
He should also move back to number two in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Matsuyama started with a par and then eagled the par-5 2nd at Firestone, before another birdie at the 3rd.
More birdies followed at six and nine to take him out in 30 and five under par.
He found another birdie at 13 and then closed out in style, with birdies at 16, 17 and 18.
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Overnight leaders Zach Johnson and Thomas Pieters both finished inside the top 4, with Johnson finishing second at 11 under and Pieters in fourth on eight under.
Charley Hoffman continued his run of form with a 3rd place finish.
It’s Matsuyama’s sixth win in 20 starts and second WGC after he won the WGC-HSBC Champions last November.
He becomes just the fourth man to shoot 61 on the South Course at Firestone, after Tiger Woods, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia.
“I played with Tiger four years ago when he shot 61, so I knew 61 was the number today,” said Matsuyama.
“I was thinking about that at 16 – I knew if I birdied 16, 17 and 18, I could get there.”
He told Sky Sports, “That might be the best round I have ever played.”
3 talking points from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
1 – Hideki Matsuyama is back. After five wins, two seconds and a top five in 10 starts from September to February, he looked like he would be reaching #1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. That now looks back on, and he should go back up to number two with this win.
2 – Charley Hoffman is ready to win again. The American is up to a career-high 20th in the Official World Golf Ranking, and has a runner-up and two top threes in his last five starts. On the 16th, whilst his caddie was talking him into laying up on the par-5, Hoffman said, “I’m 3 back with 3 to play. I mean, I’m trying to win a golf tournament, I’m tired of finishing 2nd.”
3 – Rory McIlroy is trending nicely with the USPGA Championship this week. After a turbulent season plagued by a rib injury, he has now played four rounds at the Open and four rounds at the WGC-Bridgestone with some good performances, finishing T4th and T5th. He is now looking like his form and confidence is back, and will be favourite this week having won two USPGA Championships which takes place at Quail Hollow, where he’s won twice.