PRO­FILE

The Me­te­oric Rise Of Hideki Mat­suyama Golf Saved My Life

Golf Asia - - CONTENTS - TEXT & IM­AGES COUR­TESY OF THE PGA TOUR

When Hideki Mat­suyama be­gan play at the 2016 World Golf Cham­pi­onship-hsbc Cham­pi­ons he was just an­other good, young player, a tal­ented 20-some­thing on the brink of star­dom. By the end of the week Mat­suyama had emerged as an in­ter­na­tional force and fol­lowed his vic­tory at the World Golf Cham­pi­onships-hsbc Cham­pi­ons with two ad­di­tional vic­to­ries on the PGA TOUR and fin­ished first in the Fedex­cup’s Reg­u­lar-sea­son stand­ings.

By the end of the sea­son he was the No. 2-ranked player in the world. When pun­dits spoke about po­ten­tial ma­jor cham­pi­ons, Mat­suyama’s name was men­tioned in the same breath as Jor­dan Spi­eth, Dustin John­son and Rory Mcil­roy. And it re­ally all started at the HSBC Cham­pi­ons. That should not be sur­pris­ing. Since the tour­na­ment be­came a World Golf Cham­pi­onships event in 2009, the HSBC Cham­pi­ons has pro­duced a roll call of ex­cep­tional win­ners. Four of the eight are ma­jor cham­pi­ons and the other four have been mem­bers of ei­ther a Ry­der Cup or Pres­i­dents Cup team. Play­ers from six dif­fer­ent coun­tries have won the event over the last eight years, mak­ing it truly an in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment.

“It’s great for the growth of the game in that part of the world. The tour­na­ment has been grow­ing a lot in the last few years,” said 2010 HSBC Cham­pi­ons win­ner Francesco Moli­nari, of Italy. “More and more play­ers from

Mat­suyama

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