Hideki Matsuyama gained the eighty fifth Masters in dramatic trend on Sunday, holding off Xander Schauffele down the again 9 to change into the primary Japanese man to seize a serious golf title.
Carrying the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, Matsuyama calmly grinded out clutch pars and struck for essential birdies in a pressure-packed march at Augusta Nationwide, hanging on over the ultimate holes for a historic one-stroke victory.
Matsuyama took the inexperienced jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy, a prime prize of $2.07 million (1.74 million euros) and a spot for the ages in Japanese sports activities historical past.
After seeing his seven-stroke lead with seven holes remaining shaved to 2 pictures with three to go, Matsuyama watched Schauffele discover water off the sixteenth tee on the best way to a triple-bogey catastrophe.
Matsuyama settled for bogey however closed with par at 17 and a bogey at 18 to fireside a one-over-par 73 and end 72 holes on 10-under 278.
American Will Zalatoris was second in his Masters debut on 279 after a closing 70 with US three-time main winner Jordan Spieth and American Schauffele sharing third on 281.
Matsuyama grew to become solely the second Asian man to win a serious title after South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun on the 2009 PGA Championship.
Matsuyama, ranked twenty fifth, hadn’t gained because the 2017 WGC Akron match, however 87 begins later, he matched the victory from his solely different 54-hole outright PGA lead, on the 2016 WGC Shanghai match.
The most effective prior majors by Japanese males had been Isao Aoki’s runner-up effort on the 1980 US Open and Matsuyama’s share of second on the 2017 US Open.
No prior Japanese participant had completed higher than fourth on the Masters.
Japan’s two earlier main golf titles belonged to ladies, Chako Higuchi from the 1977 LPGA Championship and Hinako Shibuno on the 2019 Ladies’s British Open.
The stress of the second was on show in the beginning, Matsuyama hitting his first tee shot nicely proper into timber on the best way to a bogey. He shook it off on the par-5 second, blasting out of a greenside bunker and tapping in for birdie.
Matsuyama saved par on the fifth on a 20-foot putt and used a deft contact with quick irons to arrange birdies. He missed a three-foot birdie putt on the seventh however responded by making three footers to birdie the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth and attain 13-under, main by seven strokes with seven holes remaining.
Matsuyama made bogey on the par-3 twelfth and hit a tree off the tee on the par-5 thirteenth however recovered for birdie as Schauffele made his transfer.
Schauffele had back-to-back bogeys forward of a double bogey on the fifth, however answered with birdies at seven and eight and reeled off 4 birdies in a row beginning on the twelfth.
Stress grew as Matsuyama discovered the water over the inexperienced on the par-5 fifteenth and made bogey whereas Schauffele had a tap-in birdie to tug inside two pictures with three holes to play.
However Schauffele’s tee shot met a watery destiny on the par-3 sixteenth and he made triple bogey, his first in any main after 1,041 prior holes.
Matsuyama, 29, held his nerve. He made his second bogey in a row however was 4 away from Schauffele and two forward of clubhouse chief Zalatoris.
After a par at 17, Matsuyama wanted solely a bogey on the final for the victory. He discovered a greenside bunker at 18 and blasted out to 6 ft, despatched his par putt inches previous the cup, then tapped in for bogey and the triumph his golf-loving homeland had awaited for thus lengthy.
One after the other, Matsuyama’s rivals fell again, early stumbles leaving their rallies too little and much too late.
Zalatoris, making an attempt to be the primary participant to win the Masters in his debut since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, was second on the flip however bogeys at 10 and 12 dropped him again.
Spieth, making an attempt to change into solely the third participant since 1960 to win the week earlier than and take the Masters, had three bogeys within the first six holes and never even 4 back-nine birdies might elevate him into competition.
England’s Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, had three bogeys within the first 5 holes and fired a 74 to complete seventh on 283, one again of Spain’s third-ranked Jon Rahm and Australia’s Marc Leishman.