Hideki Matsuyama certainly kept things interesting en route to his maiden major. Here's your final wrap from a thrilling week at Augusta
Hideki Matsuyama began his Augusta career as the low amateur in 2011. Ten years later he is the Masters champion.
He becomes Japan’s first men’s major champion – third overall after Hisako Higuchi, the 1977 Women’s PGA Championship winner, and 2019 Women’s Open champion Hinako Shibuno – and it’s difficult to put into words what this will mean back in his homeland.
I can’t even think of a British golf example in recent years. Think Andy Murray’s first Wimbledon win and you’re still not even close. Adam Scott said Matsuyama is to Japan what Tiger Woods is to the rest of the world.
Every year at the Open there are dozens of Japanese journalists sent thousands of miles to the UK with one mission: to ask every player that passes through the interview room about Matsuyama. It’s a remarkable sight.
And Matsuyama didn’t half make them sweat on Sunday.
His final-round lead began at four and at one point it was as high as six. It was back to four at the par-5 15th when he inexplicably took on the green with a 4-iron. He rescued bogey after finding the water but playing partner Xander Schauffele had cut the lead to two.
Moments later, though, it was game over. Schauffele dunked his tee shot in the drink at the par-3 16th en route to a triple bogey and Matsuyama could plot his way to the Green Jacket. A bogey at 18 meant the margin, in the end, was just one.
- RELATED: What’s in Matsuyama’s winning bag?
Here’s a wrap-up of the big talking points of the day…
Team GB&I watch
How did the British and Irish players finish up this week?
Justin Rose (-5): Good week overall for Rose, even if he will be disappointed not to be taking home the Green Jacket.
Robert MacIntyre (-2): What a week for debutant. Flying the flag for Scotland and returning to Augusta next year thanks to a top-12 finish.
Tyrrell Hatton (-1): First round in the 60s for Hatton, with four consecutive birdies on the back-nine.
Shane Lowry (E): Bogey on 18 for the Open champ meant back-to-back weekend rounds of 72.
Ian Poulter (+1): Birdie-birdie start propelled Poulter to his best score of the week.
Paul Casey (+1): Four consecutive birdies on the back-nine for Casey bumped him up the leaderboard.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2): A second 73 of the weekend for Fitzpatrick – not what he would have hoped for.
Matt Wallace (+2): An eagle on the second was just what the doctor ordered, but in the end Wallace stumbled to a closing 73.
Martin Laird (+3): The Scotsman just ran out of steam as he cards his second 74 of the week.
Tommy Fleetwood (+5): A day, and specifically a back-nine, to forget for Fleetwood.
Best shot(s) of the day
Two of the best from Tony Finau. We’re sure he meant at least one of them…
Worst shot of the day
It didn’t matter in the end but it sure kept it interesting.
With a four-shot lead and only four holes to play, why oh why would you take this on in two?
A bogey for Matsuyama amde for an unnecessarily close finish. Not that we were complaining.
Spieth smashes more Masters records
He may not have fulfilled the prophecy with a second Green Jacket this week, but boy did he provide some vintage Spieth entertainment…
Current bet slip status: Jordan Spieth to win the 2022 Masters.
Reed reaping the rewards on 16
The 16th hole at Augusta has claimed many a scalp over the years – just ask Xander Schauffele – but it seems Patrick Reed can’t get enough…
Even being the Masters champion does not exempt you from the scrutiny of the fashion police. Come on Hideki, you had all night to plan this…
Still, does anything look good with green?
Stat(s) of the day
As if you needed any more reasons to applaud that win. Incredible stuff.
If you missed anything from the rest of the week, scroll down and hit the next page button…