Hideki Matsuyama finished the Augusta National with two remarkable closing rounds on Sunday to become the first Japanese man to win a golf major and the first Asian-born player to be the tournament champion.
Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters, heading by one stroke at a 10-under-par at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, reports the New York Times.
A weather delay that lasted an hour on Saturday had the 29-year-old on equal footing with his competitors before pulling away with the lead in the third round.
— ESPN (@espn) April 11, 2021
Despite early challenges from Will Zalatoris and a late push from Xander Schauffele in the fourth round, Matsuyama was able to sustain his lead from start to finish.
Matsuyama’s historic victory comes after “an almost four-year winless drought” for Japan, reports CNN.
10 years ago, Hideki Matsuyama was the low amateur at #theMasters
Now, he’s won himself the green jacket. pic.twitter.com/R43Iiu8Gha
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 11, 2021
With two Japanese women having been major champions, Hisako Higuchi at the 1977 LPGA Championship and Hinako Shibuno at the 2019 Women’s British Open, Matsuyama has been eyed by many local fans as the male golfer to make it big outside the country, according to Japan Times.
Matsuyama, who has won the PGA Tour five times and the low amateur at the 2011 Masters, had not won a tournament since 2017. At the time, he ranked as high as second in the world before falling into a dry spell that dropped his global ranking to 25th place.