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We're barely halfway through January and it's safe to say we've already seen one of the best shots of the entire year! Hideki Matsuyama's 3 wood into the 18th hole during the Sony Open playoff will undoubtedly go down as one of the shots of 2022 - not just because of the skill involved but also due to the fact it won him his eighth PGA Tour title. The Masters champion, hitting into the late afternoon Hawaiian sun, flushed his 3 wood off the deck, producing a massive 177mph ball speed, and left himself a tap-in eagle to sink Russell Henley's hopes of winning as the Japanese star took home the Sony Open.
Matsuyama came from five back on the final nine thanks to a closing 31 that featured four birdies and five pars, including a birdie at the 18th in regulation to get into the playoff. The 29-year-old has now won 17 times as a professional and returns to the world's top 10.
Watch the incredible shot below:
UNREAL SHOT. 😳 Hideki delivers a beauty from 277 yards out on the first playoff hole! pic.twitter.com/qT8ByiAVrmJanuary 17, 2022
"It was a perfect number for me for a cut 3-wood, 276 yards left to right, follow wind. I knew the green was soft enough to hold it, and I was able to pull it off," Matsuyama said of the shot. "To be honest I didn't even see it. But everybody started cheering and I knew it was good."
"I don't know how long it will take to get over it," a downbeat Russell Henley said after defeat. "I definitely take confidence from the tournament, but it really stings to not come away with the win. That's just part of it.
"It stings. I played some great golf. I feel like I was in it the entire time mentally this time. I didn't have too many mental lapses like I have other tournaments where I've been close to the lead in the last couple years."
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Honma TR20
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Honma TR20B
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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