Hideki Matsuyama added to a unique PGA Tour statistic with his convincing five shot success at the ZoZo Championship in his native Japan.
Matsuyama was never really challenged, taking the lead on day two and rounding off his seventh PGA Tour success in brilliant manner by eagling the closing hole on the host Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club layout.
The 72nd hole eagle, after eagling the par-5 sixth hole, handed Matsuyama a closing five-under par tally to win by five shots at 15-under par with the American duo of Brendan Steele (66) and Cameron Tringale (69) a distant second at 10-under par.
And a statistical wrap-up of the week with Matsuyama’s victory producing the following:
· Matsuyama becomes the fourth Masters champion to win in his home country in the same year since 2011
· He moves to within one of K.J. Choi’s total career wins of eight PGA Tour titles, which is the most wins by an Asian player.
· Captured the win in his 201st start at the age of 29 years, 7 months and 29 days
· His five-shot victory is the largest margin of victory at the Championship (3 strokes/2019 ZOZO Championship/Tiger Woods). Final round 65 also matched the low final round score of 65 by a winner (2020/Patrick Cantlay)
· Matsuyama hit 81.9% of Greens in Regulation ranking 1st in the category among the field
· He’s also the second player from Asia to win on the PGA Tour this month (first: Sungjae Im, Shriners Children’s Open); last time two players from Asia won on Tour in the same month: May, 2002 (K.J. Choi/South Korea/Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Shigeki Maruyama/Japan/AT&T Byron Nelson
So, the question being asked: who were the other three Masters winners to have won in their ‘home’ country in the same year they were fitted with an Augusta National members green jacket?
The answer: Charl Schwartzel 2011 – 2011 Joburg Open, Adam Scott 2013 – Australian PGA Championship, Sergio Garcia 2017 – Andalucia Valderrama Masters.
Matsuyama was naturally delighted to win on home soil and winning in the manner he did. Back in April, he headed to the final round of the Masters leading by four shots, and stretched that to six strokes at the turn, only to bogey three of his closing four holes and eventually win by a shot.
Matsuyama had won eight times in Japan, including as 2011 victory as an amateur while his ZoZo win does help ease the disappointment of not earning a medal in the summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
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