Ecstatic Japanese golf fans embraced Hideki Matsuyama’s historic Masters victory on Monday, with broadcasters becoming emotional and the prime minister talking up the win as a bright spot in the pandemic.
“Matsuyama Masters” trended on Twitter, and even shares related to golf rose on the Tokyo stock market. All because the 29-year-old became the first Japanese man to win a major golf title.
Matsuyama makes golfing history
In Japan, the one-stroke victory was captured just after 8.00 am Monday, with some broadcasters carrying live footage of his final-round 73 that saw him finish on 10-under par.
Government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said Matsuyama was the latest in a string of Japanese sports stars serving up inspiring performances, from Naomi Osaka’s triumph at tennis’s Australian Open to Japanese players enjoying success Major League Baseball in the US.
Also Read: Update on Tiger Woods’ Auto Crash
Ranked 25th, he had not won since the 2017 WGC Akron tournament but calmly ground out clutch pars and struck for crucial birdies in a pressure-packed march to glory at Augusta National.
The best previous major showings by Japanese men had been Isao Aoki’s runner-up place at the 1980 US Open and Matsuyama’s share of second at the 2017 US Open.