Matsuyama thrilled to reward home support

27 October 2021 11:14:04 CET
Matsuyama relished performing in front of home fans

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama insists he is thrilled to have been able to "play well" and win the Zozo Championship in his native Japan.

The Japanese superstar is 30/1 to defend his US Masters crown next year.

Final flourish

Matsuyama shot a final-round 65 and finished on -15 under par in Chiba to win his home tournament by five shots.

The 29-year-old took a one-shot lead into the final day at Narashino Country Club and produced three birdies on the back nine, as well as an eagle on the 18th, to seal victory.

The world number 19 finished five strokes ahead of Cameron Tringale and Brendan Steele, with England's Matt Wallace another four shots back in tied-fourth alongside Sebastian Munoz and Mackenzie Hughes.

The winning total was one shot off the 16-under Matsuyama produced in the inaugural Zozo in 2019, when he finished runner-up by three shots to Tiger Woods, whose win matched Sam Snead's all-time tour record with 82 victories.

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It is a 16th professional win for the Japanese ace and a seventh success on the PGA Tour, although only his second title triumph since 2017.

Matsuyama became the first Japanese player to win a major when triumphing at Augusta in April and claiming his maiden Green Jacket.

Home support

Speaking to Sky Sports after his win, Matsuyama said: "It's just so great to play in front of so many fans here in Japan and to be able to play well."

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who began the day five behind the leader, posted a second successive level-par round of 70.

The Southport star finished tied for seventh alongside American trio Luke List, Sam Ryder and Collin Morikawa, as well as South African Branden Grace.

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