2021 Masters – Matsuyama wins first Green Jacket

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Matsuyama first Japanese golfer to win Masters Green Jacket!

Hideki Matsuyama’s performance over the weekend was solid enough to win his first green jacket! He delivered for Japan, who absolutely loves the game of golf!

It’s hard to overstate how BIG this win is for him. Matsuyama had been close in majors of the past, but the 2021 Masters proved to be the one! Back in 2011, when he turned pro, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the best ball-strikers in the world.

Matsuyama closed with a 1-over 73 and one-shot victory that was only close at the end and never seemed to be in doubt after Xander Schauffele’s late charge ended with a triple bogey on par-3 16th.  

As Dustin Johnson helped the green jacket on, Matsuyama said, with a giant smile, “I’m so happy.” 

Matsuyama’s performance was so masterful that he stretched his lead to six shots on the back nine until a few moments of drama. With a four-shot lead, his approach shot on the par-5 15th bounced off the slope and into the water at the 16th. 

Matsuyama managed to finish with a bogey, and Schauffele finished with his fourth birdie in a row to take his lead down to just two shots with three to play. 

Fortunately for Matsuyama, Schauffele’s tee shot on the par-3 16th bounced off the hill left of the green and dribbled into the pond. His third shot from the drop area went into the gallery. Sschauffele ended with a triple bogey. 

Matsuyama bogeyed three of his last four holes and became the first Master’s Champion with a final round over par since Trevor Immelman shot 75 in 2008. 

As Matsuyama walked up the 18th fairway, soaking in the thousands of spectators cheering him on, he realized his next shot (from the bunker) meant to his home country Japan. Matsuyama owned that moment, hit his bunker shot, and finished with two putts for the win. 

The 24-year-old Will Zalatoris holed an 18-foot put for par and a final round 70 to finish runner-up. It was the best finish from a first-time master qualifier since Jordan Spieth, a runner-up to Bubba Watson in 2014. 

Xander Schauffele finished third after a disappointing final round of par for a total of seven-under. Overall, Schauffele had some great stretches on Sunday, but his triple bogey on sixteen proved to be the hole that ended his chances.  

Holding his head high, Schauffele said, “If you look at my career, you could call it a big ball of scar tissue with a bunch of second places; I don’t look at it that way. I don’t think my team looks at it that way. So I’ll sleep on it. I hit a good shot. I committed to it. It turned out bad. I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I might be tossing and turning, but I’ll be okay.”

Matsuyama finished at 10-under 278 for his 15th victory worldwide and his sixth on the PGA Tour. 

Matsuyama became the second man from an Asian country to win a major. Y.E. Yang of South Korea won the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine over Tiger Woods. 

Matsuyama has been to the Masters before. He won the Asia-Pacific Amateur and earned an invitation to the Masters, and he was low amateur. He tied the defending champion Phil Mickelson and enjoyed his first trip to Butler Cabin. He won in Japan as an amateur and four times after he graduated college and turned pro. His first PGA Tour victory was at the Memorial in 2014. 

Matsuyama said in a post-interview that he was so proud to be the first Japanese golfer to win the green jacket at Augusta National. He said, “Hopefully, I’ll be a pioneer in this, and many other Japanese will follow. I’m glad to be able to open the floodgates, hopefully, and many more will follow me.” 

Congratulations to Hideki Matsuyama as the winner of 2021 Masters. Along with the Green Jacket, Matsuyama get’s a cool $2,070,000 into his bank account. We are excited to watch this methodical ball-striker compete at this high level for years to come!

 

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