Hideki targets a major now
10 and 40 of the world’s top 50.
None could live with the Japanese whose worst round of the week in testing conditions was a four-under 68 as he racked up 29 birdies, three shy of the all-time PGA Tour record, and his last 45 holes without recording a bogey.
“Hideki played just unbelievable and it was a pleasure to watch,” said Berger. “You can learn a lot from watching him at work.”
British Open champion and Olympic silver medallist Stenson paid tribute.
“He showed everyone how he could keep his foot on the pedal. It was an impressive runaway win,” said the Swede who has moved above Jordan Spieth to world No. 4.
Matsuyama has collected a staggering US$2,376,000 (RM9.9m) in prize money in an eight-day whirl after second place in Kuala Lumpur and the Shanghai win, but said on Sunday all he wanted to do was ring his parents back home in Japan. “I owe it all to them.”
“They have done so much for me and I’m so grateful for them. They are the ones I want to be able to call first and tell them I won.”
Last week he became the first Japanese player to reach the world’s top 10 since Jumbo Ozaki in April 1998 and has moved ahead of major winners such as Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Danny Willett in the new rankings released yesterday.
His rise comes as little surprise, as Matsuyama has been a prolific winner from an early age when he was known in amateur circles as the “boy with the strong heart”.
He qualified for the US Masters twice by winning two Asian Amateur championships in 2010 and 2011.
At 19, he won the silver medal for leading amateur at the 2011 Masters and was also ranked No. 1 world amateur.
He won only his second event as a pro in 2013 and a year later won his first US PGA Tour title at the Memorial Tournament in a playoff against Kevin Na.
He was handed the trophy by tournament host and golf legend Jack Nicklaus. “It was like a dream come true,” Matsuyama recalled.
Nicklaus was impressed with the then 22year-old. “This young man’s going to win a lot of tournaments,” he said. – AFP