Hideki tar­gets a ma­jor now

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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

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