Over the past 18 months, Hideki Matsuyama has been on fire. At the end of 2016/beginning of 2017, there was a stretch where he won four times in six starts, which included a win at the Japan Open, runner-up in Malaysia at the CIMB Classic, a win at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, a win at Tiger Wood’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas and a runner-up in Hawaii at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He would also win later in the year, repeating as the WM Phoenix Open Champion. His game seems to translate all over the world and it showed on Sunday at Firestone Country Club for the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Watch extended highlights from his final round above.
Matsuyama would fire a final round 9-under 61 to tie the course record set by Tiger Woods (he was even paired with Tiger when he did it in 2013), Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal to win his second WGC event by five shots. Although he was two shots off the lead heading into the final round, he was unsure of his swing most of the week and did not feel like he was hitting it well enough to be a serious contender. Late Saturday, he was the lone figure left on the range and must have found something to bring into Sunday in what was his 100th PGA TOUR appearance.
At such a young age, he has probably already become the greatest golfer to come out of Japan. Could he be the first to win a Major Championship for Japan? He certainly has a good a chance as any this week for the season’s final major – the PGA Championship is set to be held at Quail Hollow. There are going to be several storylines heading into the week with Rory McIlroy winning his first PGA TOUR event here, Jordan Spieth potentially completing the career grand slam and now, Hideki Matsuyama with the chance to become the first Major Champion for Japan.
Source: PGA TOUR