Matsuyama Makes History For Japan in Golf

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.

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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.

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