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Hideki Matsuyama Clinches 85th Masters Golf Title, Becomes First Japanese Champion

Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese and first Asian winner of the Masters Tournament on Sunday.

Matsuyama shot 1-over 73 in the final round to finish the tournament at 10-under 278.

The Masters champion opened with a bogey, before drawing even with a birdie on No. 2. Consecutive birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 saw Matsusyama stretch his lead to six.

After a shaky bogey on the par 3 12th, Matsuyama’s drive of 13 went into the woods to the right, hit a tree and bounced into the second cut. His third shot flew over the green, where he got up and down for birdie.

Matsuyama flew the green on 15 and ended up in the water. After a penalty drop, he chipped to just off the green and two putter for a bogey 6.

Xander Schauffele, playing in the final pairing with Matsuyama, birdied 12, 13, 14 and15 to pull within two strokes of the leader.

Schauffele’s charged ended at 16 when the tee shot ended up in the pond.

A triple-bogey 6 and Matsuyama bogey kept the gap at four strokes.

Schauffle finished the round at even par and 7-under for the tournament, tying for third place with Jordan Spieth.

Matsuyama went into the final round with a four-shot lead after scorching Augusta National’s second nine in Saturday’s third round. Following a weather delay and rain that softened the course, he birdied Nos. 11 and 12, made eagle on No. 15, then birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to card a 65 for 11-under-par.

His previous best finish at a major championship was runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Open.

Matsuyama won the Asia-Pacfic Amateur championship twice – in 2010 and 2011. He finished as low amateur in his first Masters appearance in 2011.

Matsuyama is the second Japanese golfer to win at Augusta National in the past week. Tsubasa Kajitani won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, defeating Emilia Migliaccio in a playoff.



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