GOLF

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

DOM­I­NANT Hideki Matsu= yama made his­tory yes­ter­day when he be­came the first player from Asia to win a World Golf Championships. The 24-year-old from Ja­pan left a world-class field, in­clud­ing Rory McIl­roy and all four 2016 ma­jor win­ners, trail­ing in his wake as he fin­ished seven strokes clear at the WGCHSBC Cham­pi­ons in Shang­hai.

The 24-year-old Ja­panese player also be­came the first from the con­ti­nent to win “Asia’s Ma­jor” and he did it in style with a flaw­less fi­nal round of six-un­der-par 66.

Mat­suyama was just one shot shy of the record 72-hole score at She­shan In­ter­na­tional Golf Club of 24-un­der-par set by cur­rent US Open cham­pion Dustin Johnson three years ago.

Mat­suyama fin­ished at 23 un­der-par after four stun­ning rounds of 66, 65, 68 and 66 at the par-72 lay­out. Bri­tish Open cham­pi­ons Hen­rik Sten­son and Daniel Berger of the US were tied for sec­ond way back at 16-un­der-par.

World num­ber three Rory McIl­roy yes­ter­day carded his sec­ond 66 of the week for yet an­other top-five fin­ish as he took fourth place on 15-un­der-par.

Mat­suyama, whose to­tal of 29 birdies for the week was just three short of the all-time US PGA Tour record of 32, re­mark­ably did not card a bo­gey after the ninth hole of his sec­ond round on Fri­day, de­spite test­ing damp and windy con­di­tions in the Chi­nese megac­ity.

The in-form 24-year-old is set to rise to as high as num­ber six in the world fol­low­ing his vic­tory for which he wins US$1.62 mil­lion.

It caps a re­mark­able run in which Mat­suyama has won the Ja­pan Open, fin­ished run­ner-up in the PGA Tour’s CIMB Clas­sic in Malaysia and won the WGC-HSBC Cham­pi­ons in con­sec­u­tive weeks.

Be­fore that he had fin­ished fifth in the US PGA Tour’s sea­son-end­ing Tour Championships, won by McIl­roy. –

Photo: AFP

Hideki Mat­suyama of Ja­pan cel­e­brates his vic­tory at the end of the fi­nal round of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Cham­pi­ons golf tour­na­ment in Shang­hai on October 30.

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