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Hideki Matsuyama wins Masters to become first ever Japanese victor at Augusta


Hideki Matsuyama has created history to become the first ever Asian champion of the Masters and first male Japanese Major winner.

The 29-year-old showed few signs of nerves during the final round at Augusta, and in the end comfortably saw off the challenges of the likes of Americans Will Zalatoris, who finished on -9, and Xander Schauffele on -7.

He will earn around an eye-watering $2million (£1.45m) as a result of coming first.

Englishman Justin Rose, meanwhile, finished on -5, while Jordan Spieth finished on -7.

It is a huge moment for Japanese golf, with Matsuyama set to become a sporting icon in the country.



Hideki Matsuyama celebrates with his green jacket after winning The Masters as previous winner Dustin Johnson looks on
Hideki Matsuyama celebrates with his green jacket after winning The Masters as previous winner Dustin Johnson looks on

And he said he hoped he would be “a pioneer” for golfers back home.

“I’m very happy,” Matsuyama told CBS.

“My nerves really didn’t start on the second nine. It was right from the very start until the last putt! I’m glad I played well for [my friends and family]. Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer and many more Japanese players will follow.”

Asked when was the moment he knew he was going to win, Matsuyama said: “When I hit the fairway at 18!”



Hideki Matsuyama celebrates after winning The Masters
Hideki Matsuyama celebrates after winning The Masters

His friend and former Masters champion Adam Scott said: “This is huge – Hideki in Japan is a bit like a Tiger Woods to the rest of the world. I think he’ll become the superstar of Japan if he isn’t already.”

Matsuyama recovered from a nervy start and survived a late self-inflicted wound to claim his first major title in the 85th Masters.

He cemented his superstar status in his home country a decade after finishing as the leading amateur at Augusta National – and may now fancy the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

The 29-year-old was cruising to victory until a two-shot swing on the 15th saw his lead cut in half, only for nearest rival Xander Schauffele to promptly find the water with his tee shot on the 16th.

A closing 73 gave Matsuyama a winning total of 10 under par and a one-shot victory over debutant Zalatoris, with Schauffele and 2015 champion Jordan Spieth two shots further back.

Final leaderboard – top 10

H Matsuyama -10

W Zalatoris -9

J Spieth -7

X Schauffele -7

J Rahm -6

M Leishman -6

J Rose -5

C Conners -4

P Reed -4

T Finau -3





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