Hideki Matsuyama is the cool superstar of golf

Agastya, Ga. Hideki Matsuyama became the winner of the Masters tournament on Sunday evening on August 18 at Augusta National Golf Club. There was no sky leap, no cathartic, festive ascent in his caddy’s arms.

Just the tip of a hat and some hug – an understanding, to recognize in a moment of seminal accomplishment MatsuyamaThe first Asian-origin golfer to claim a green jacket for golf in Japan.

“When the final put went in, I wasn’t really thinking about anything,” he said, adding that he was happy for his caddy Shota Hayafuji, as it was his first win.

“And then, it started sinking in,” Matsuyama said, “the joy of being a Masters champion.”

It was the specialty of Mattsuyama, the man who used to play games on his cellphone in his car late Saturday due to rain delays, the golfer who has been harassing opponents for years, while he seems set to avoid the spotlight Had been.

“He doesn’t talk a whole lot, and he’s really solid,” Justin Thomas said after his round but before Matsuyama’s win.

2013 Masters winner Adam Scott said, “I think he’s quite an intense character, however, we don’t really do that.” “I mean, and is obsessive about their game.”

“He plays like a winner, he needs to play”, said Xander Schauffele, who was paired with him for the final round on Sunday. “He was like a robot.”

Weighing just under six feet and weighing close to 200 pounds, Mattsuyama was lionized in Japan, where he began learning golf from his father, even before he reached number 2 in the world. His win at Augusta National, which earned him $ 2,070,000. He played in the Masters for the first time in 2011, when he tied for 27th and was crowned the lesser amateur. He scored 68 in the third round, a journey through the course that he said was crucial to building the strength he would need outside of amateur navies.

“It gave me confidence that I could play here,” he said. “I could play professional golf as a career.”

He joined the PGA Tour in 2013 and won a few tournaments before breakout 2017, when he Top leaderboard Finished second in three events and at the United States Open.

This was the year his approach to privacy became clear: He announced that he had married months earlier and that he and his wife had a child.

In a tournament news conference, he said, “If someone asked me if I was married, or you know, I didn’t have to answer that question.” “But I thought it would be a good time after the PGA, because our baby is born and I thought it would be a good time to let us all know.”

Shyness persists. Asked over the weekend how he felt about the coronavirus epidemic that kept more journalists off the field at Augusta National, he replied: “I’m glad the media is covering it here, but standing up It’s not my favorite thing to do. ” To answer the questions. And with less media, it’s a lot less stressful for me, and I’ve enjoyed this week. “

But in the years before the full climb in the golf elite, especially in Japan, Matsuyama was a promising young player in search of guidance, recalled Scott.

“I found out that he was really keen to learn all he could,” Scott recalled of his conversation with a younger Matsuyama during the 2013 President’s Cup, the first of four in which Matsuyama would compete.

Scott later said, “Just what someone wants to do well looks like that.” “He wasn’t afraid to ask questions, and I think that shows. As intimidating as it may be for some people, the desire to do well oversees being a language barrier or shy or anything like that.”

By Sunday, however, he was in some slump, even as he led the Players Championship in 2020, when the rest of the tournament was canceled as Coronavirus began to gain more foothold in the United States.

This year, Matsuyama said, he had a coach in Japan who was helping him improve his game.

“He’s a great help, a great benefit,” Matsuyama said on Saturday. “Things I was feeling in my swing, I could talk to her about it.” He said: “He always responds well to me. He has a good eye. It’s like being a mirror to my swing, and it’s a big help to me. We worked hard, and hopefully now it’s all a Will start with

Sunday evening in Augusta, it did.

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