Hideki Matsuyama Makes History With Masters Triumph

Hideki Matsuyama Makes History With Masters Triumph

Hideki Matsuyama Makes History With Masters Triumph
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hideki Matsuyama made history at the Masters on Sunday, becoming the first male Major winner from Japan, claiming the Green Jacket by just one shot from Will Zalatoris.

Hideki Matsuyama Makes History With Masters Triumph

The Japanese star's last victory came at the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but a final round 73 meant he would claim his first Major title.

Matsuyama now becomes Japan's third ever Major winner and first male champion, joining Hinako Shibuno (2019 Women's British Open) and Hisako 'Chako' Higuchi (1977 LPGA Championship).

The 29-year-old had started the day with a four-shot lead after a sensational finish in his third round that saw four birdies and an eagle in his last eight holes.

Hideki Matsuyama Wins Masters

Matsuyama found his lead cut to one shot after the opening hole. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Despite the comfortable starting margin, Matsuyama's lead was cut by three shots on the opening hole, making bogey at the first. His nearest challenger, Will Zalatoris would birdie his first two holes to sit just one shot back.

However, Matsuyama's lead was soon back to three. With Zalatoris making bogey at the third, Matsuyama would produce a birdie at the par-5 second.

American Zalatoris was playing two groups ahead of Matsuyama, and cut the deficit back to two shots with a birdie at the par-5 eighth.

But the tournament winner would fire back, producing some scintillating wedge shots at the eighth and the ninth for back-to-back birdies.

With Zalatoris making a bogey five at the 10th hole, Matsuyama would have a huge five shot lead going into the back nine of the Masters.

Hideki Matsuyama Wins The Masters

Zalatoris putting on the 10th hole. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Although the back nine at Augusta National has determined the outcome of many previous Masters, it seemed that the former Silver Cup winner wouldn't buckle.

Two solid pars at the 10th and 11th extended his lead further and, despite making his sixth bogey of the week at the par-3 12th, Matsuyama was well on his way to claiming the Green Jacket.

Things looked to be unravelling slightly on the par-5 13th. However, two extremely lucky breaks with his tee shot and second shot led to an unlikely birdie.

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It wasn't just Zalatoris that was making a challenge, but a new contender was beginning to break out from the pack.

American Xander Schauffele was flying on his back nine, with four consecutive birdies at the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th putting him only two shots behind the Japanese star.

But the 27-year-old would produce a huge mistake at the par-3 16th. Finding the water with his tee shot, Schauffele would then fly the green with his next shot, eventually finishing with a triple-bogey six.

A few groups ahead of Matsuyama, Zalatoris had laid down the clubhouse target, with two birdies in his last four holes meaning a final round 70 and a nine-under-par tournament total.

With two holes remaining, Matsuyama would make a solid par at the 71st hole, before a bogey at the last would mean a one shot victory over Zalatoris.

The victory was Japan's second win at Augusta National in a matter of weeks, with Tsubasa Kajitani claiming the Augusta National Women's Amateur in a playoff last week.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x