News : Masters in Augusta: Hideki Matsuyama is the first Japanese to win major tournament
Hideki Matsuyama made golf history with his triumph at the Masters. The 29-year-old professional became the first Japanese to win a major tournament on Sunday (local time). Matsuyama won after a 73 final round at the Augusta National Golf Club with a total of 278 strokes ahead of the American and Masters debutants Will Zalatoris (279) and Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele (both USA / 281).
As a trophy, Matsuyama received the legendary green winner’s jacket and additional prize money of around two million dollars. For the Japanese, it is the sixth success on the US tour.
“I am very happy,” said Matsuyama after the major triumph to the TV broadcaster CBS. “I hope to be a pioneer that many other Japanese will follow.”
Ten years ago he was named best amateur at the Masters. In 2011, the then 19-year-old Asia-Pacific Champion finished 27th in the victory of South African Charl Schwartzel.
The Japanese started the final day with a comfortable four-stroke lead over the competition. After losing a stroke on the first hole, he quickly regained control of his nerves. But on the last holes the lead melted away. In the end, one stroke ahead of the strong-playing Masters newcomer Zalatoris was enough for him. “I fought hard,” said Zalatoris.
In golf-mad Japan, Matsuyama was a star even before the Masters triumph. In the run-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the admiration for the 29-year-old in his home country should move into new spheres. As early as 2017, he triggered a hype in Japan with second place at the US Open in Erin Hills and the rise to number two in the golf world.
Germany’s golf legend Bernhard Langer failed after two rounds at the Masters in the US state of Georgia and retired early. The 63-year-old from Anhausen struck off at Magnolia Lane for the 38th time this year. Numerous favorites around the previous year’s winner and world number one Dustin Johnson from the USA had also missed the cut at the 85th edition of the venerable Masters tournament.