Matsuyama breaks through in U.S.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan holed a 10-foot par putt on the first playoff hole to turn back Kevin Na and claim his first PGA Tour victory in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

The 22-year-old Matsuyama, who won five times on the Japan PGA Tour, closed with a 3-under-par 69 that included a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that got him into the playoff. He became the first player to birdie No. 18 in all four rounds in tournament history.

In the playoff, he got up-and-down from a greenside bunker for a winning par on the same hole.

“I’m just happy, really, really happy,” Matsuyama, a two-time winner of the Asian Amateur Championship, said through an interpreter. “It’s a dream come true to win on Jack Nicklaus’ golf course. It couldn’t be better.”

Na, 30, who left Diamond Bar High as a senior at the age of 17 to turn pro, closed with a bogey-free 64 in search of his second PGA Tour victory. However, he pulled his drive on the playoff hole into a creek and was looking at a bogey putt when Matsuyama sank the winner.

Bubba Watson, the 54-hole leader, seemed to be headed for his third victory of the season until he made a bogey on the 14th hole and hit his drive out of bounds on the next hole, leading to a double-bogey 7, and he finished one stroke out of the playoff in third after a 72.

Adam Scott, the No. 1 player in the world who was coming off a victory in the Crowne Plaza Invitational, also had a chance to win until he took a double-bogey 5 on the 12th hole and added three consecutive bogeys through No. 16.

Scott closed with a 71 and tied for fourth, three shots back, with Chris Kirk, who had a 68.

Steve Stricker finished with a 68 and tied for sixth with Ben Curtis, 2003 Open champion at Royal St. George’s, who came in with a 70.


Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles