Hideki Matsuyama is the 2021 Masters champion. On Sunday from Augusta, GA, Matsuyama, who is ironically from Matsuyama, Japan, became the first male Japanese major golf champion.
The 29-year-old posted a four-round score of -10 to beat Will Zalatoris of San Francisco, CA by a stroke. Two other Americans tied for third place at -7. They were two-time Masters champion Jordan Spieth of Dallas, TX, and Xander Schauffele of La Jolla, CA.
Matsuyama had a first-round score of -3, a second-round score of -1, a third-round score of -7, and a fourth-round score of +1. The best stretch of golf for Matsuyama in the entire tournament came on the back nine of round three on Saturday. There, Matsuyama had four birdies and one eagle. His -6 came in a stretch of seven holes. In the process, Matsuyama took a comfortable four-stroke lead after 54 holes.
Another reason why Matsuyama was victorious over the weekend is because he recorded three eagles. Matsuyama posted scores of three on three par-fives. His eagles came on the eighth hole in round one, the 13th hole in round two, and the 15th hole in round three. Matsuyama’s Thursday eagle came on a 23-yard putt, after an impressive 246-yard approach shot that made the green. Matsuyama’s Friday eagle came from a brilliant 14-yard putt when his ball was just off the putting green. Finally, Matsuyama’s Saturday eagle was from a six-foot putt after a brilliant approach shot of 206 yards left him very close to the hole.
This was the second time an Asian golfer has won a men’s major golf tournament. The first champion was Y.E. Yang of South Korea, who won the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
Matsuyama also becomes the third Japanese major champion. Chako Higuchi of Kawagoe, Japan won the 1977 LPGA Championship in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Then in 2019, Hinako Shibuno won the 2019 Women’s British Open from Milton Keynes, England.