The Masters

The Masters

Hideki Matsuyama

April 12, 2021

Matsuyama wins The Masters, makes history for Japan

Date: April 8-11, 2021

Venue: Augusta National Golf Club

Location: Augusta, Georgia

       In what may have been the most boring Masters in recent history, Hideki Matsuyama became the first male golfer from Japan to claim a major championship on Sunday by winning the Masters Tournament by one stroke over rookie Will Zalatoris.

Matsuyama, who started the day with a commanding four-shot lead, bogied three of his final four holes and carded a 1-over 73 in the final round to hang on for the victory.

The 29-year-old built a five-shot advantage as he made the turn, but Zalatoris and Xander Schauffele applied pressure on the back nine. Schauffele nailed three-straight birdies on Nos. 12-14 to make things interesting as the last pairing got to No. 15.

On the final par-5 at Augusta, Matsuyama airmailed the green with his approach shot and wound up making a costly bogey. Meanwhile, Schauffele made his fourth consecutive birdie to get within two shots with three left to play.

However, Schauffele took an aggressive line at the pin on the par-3 16th and came up well short. The 27-year-old’s hopes were dashed as his ball landed on a steep downslope in front of the green and rolled down into the water.

Matsuyama becomes only the seventh player ever to earn low-amateur honors (2011) at the Masters and win a green jacket later in their career, and the victory also marks his first PGA TOUR title since 2017 and the sixth overall.

Matsuyama’s win also completes a sweep for Japan at Augusta over the past two weeks, with 17-year-old Tsubasa Kajitani winning the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last weekend in a playoff.

“Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer in this, and many other Japanese will follow,” Matsuyama said through his translator during the green jacket ceremony in Butler Cabin. “I’m glad to be able to open the floodgates hopefully, and many more will follow me.”

Jordan Spieth played his eighth Masters, and thanks to his top-3 finish at this year’s event, he’s now placed in that position five times. A final day poor putting performance kept him from being a real threat for his second green jacket. After missing five different putts inside 10 feet on Saturday, Spieth followed that up with seven misses on Sunday. Despite the struggles, the 27-year-old Texan still mounted a strong charge and will be a strong canditate next year.

Here’s how the top of the leaderboard finished at the 85th Masters:

Place   Player       To Par   R4 Score 

1 Hideki Matsuyama -10   73 

2 Will Zalatoris    -9         70 

T3 Jordan Spieth   -7         70 

T3 Xander Schauffele -7     72 

T5 Jon Rahm -6           66 

T5 Marc Leishman -6     73 

7 Justin Rose -5          74 

T8 Patrick Reed -4        69 

T8 Corey Conners -4        74 

T10 Cameron Smith -3      70 

T10 Tony Finau -3           72

Zalatoris came in second in his Masters debut. The 24-year-old birdied two of his final four holes to move up the leaderboard with his fourth under-par round of the week.

Due to his triple-bogey on No. 16, Schauffele settled into a tie for third with Jordan Spieth.

Webb Simpson, Stewart Cink, Kevin Na, Si Woo Kim, Robert MacIntyre, and Brian Harman all earned invites into next year’s Masters by finishing inside the top 12.

D.J.'s Champion's dinner menu


Previous champions

2020 - Dustin Johnson (-20)

2019 - Tiger Woods (-13)

2018 - Patrick Reed (-15)

2017 - Sergio Garcia (-9)

2016 - Danny Willett (-5)

2015 - Jordan Spieth (-18)

2014 - Bubba Watson (-8)

2013 - Adam Scott (-9)

2012 - Bubba Watson (-10)

2011 - Charl Schwartzel (-14)

2010 - Phil Mickelson (-16)


Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

Attributes: AASNSports; TheMasters; ANGC


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