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Hideki Matsuyama wins Zozo Championship, claims 1st career PGA Tour victory in Japan

CHIBA, Japan — Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama had three birdies in 5 holes on the again 9 and eagled the 18th for good measure for a 5-stroke victory on the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship on Sunday.

It was Matsuyama’s first PGA Tour win in his native Japan, though he has had just one earlier try. In 2019, Tiger Woods gained the inaugural Zozo Championship, the primary PGA Tour occasion in Japan, and final 12 months the match was moved to California on account of COVID-19 journey restrictions.

Matsuyama completed with a 65 and a 15-under complete of 265 at Narashino Nation Membership. It was his seventh PGA Tour victory.

If there was any doubt, Matsuyama hit a 3-wood to about 12 toes together with his second shot on the par-5 18th and made the eagle putt.

Requested when he thought he had gained his house match, Matsuyama mentioned via an interpreter: “In all probability my second shot at 18, that was most likely the clincher.”

“It was considered one of my largest objectives to win in entrance of the Japanese followers right here on this nation as effectively,” he added. “So joyful that I am going to be capable of accomplish that. Additionally, in 2019 Tiger gained the Masters and went on to win the Zozo Championship, so I am glad that I’d be capable of emulate that as effectively.”

Individuals had been tied for second at 10-under: Brendan Steele shot 66 and Cameron Tringale 69.

Tringale trailed Matsuyama by 2 strokes going to the 18th gap, however the Japanese participant’s eagle and the American’s bogey made it a 5-shot cushion.

“I wanted to form of take a pair dangers and sadly it did not pan out, however I performed 16 actually good holes and, yeah, that was the day,” Tringale mentioned.

Open champion Collin Morikawa had a final-round 69 and completed 10 strokes behind Matsuyama. Tokyo Olympics champion Xander Schauffele shot 68 and was at even par on the match whereas Rickie Fowler had his second consecutive 71 and completed 3 over.

“It wasn’t fairly the identical expertise, did not play as effectively, however I loved being right here regardless of the lockdown and COVID guidelines,” Schauffele mentioned. “I noticed a few of my household right here, which was actually cool. I do not get an enormous alternative to see them, in order that was form of the shining second for me.”

The PGA Tour’s solely cease on the Asia swing attracted solely three of the highest 20 gamers on this planet rankings.

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