Hideki Matsuyama News
The 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was given his marching orders after it emerged white correction fluid used to help center the ball was used on the face of the club.
The US Masters champion sealed victory with the shot of the week, a stunning five-wood from 250 yards to set up an eagle three at par-five 18th at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, outside Tokyo.
Masters champion Matsuyama will be the focus of intense home interest, while for the American Schauffele — whose family has ties to Japan — it will be a return to the country where he won Olympic gold in August.
Matsuyama signed the ball for the fan but went on to make bogey on the hole, snapping a run of five birdies in a row to finish the front nine.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Solid start by Anirban Lahiri as top golf stars Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama trail
Lahiri shrugged off a bogey start on first by later sinking some huge putts. Two of his birdies on ninth and 15th came from 28 feet.
Mickelson, 50, winner of five Majors, but none since 2013, is a co-leader at 5-under, and Matsuyama, who attained a ‘God-like’ status in his home country, Japan, won the Masters only last month.
Mickelson looked like the Mickelson of old on another windswept grind around the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, running off five birdies over his last eight holes, the last one giving him a 3-under 69 and a share of the lead.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama yearns for Games but can relate to cancel call
Matsuyama, ranked 15th in the world, is set for an Olympic berth and wants the Games to be staged, not only for himself but for thousands of other Japanese athletes.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: ‘I have mixed feelings’, golfer Hideki Matsuyama latest Japanese star to voice doubts over safety of Games
Matsuyama's comments come after tennis star Naomi Osaka said she was "not really sure" the Tokyo Games should go ahead, with fellow player Kei Nishikori also urging a discussion on the wisdom of staging the event.
Matsuyama received the award from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who saluted him for lifting spirits in Japan this time — and 10 years ago.
The Masters 2021: Hideki Matsuyama's triumph gives wings to Japanese challenge, inspires Asia's golf community
"You know it's really inspiring is really amazing. I'm very happy for him. He's a fantastic person, like I said. He is really great for Japan, and for golf. You know the Olympics are coming to Japan and we have the current Masters champion, representing Japan.
Matsuyama celebrated becoming the first Japanese man to win a major golf title on Sunday when he captured the Masters by one stroke after a back-nine battle at Augusta National.
Even Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga weighed in, telling reporters the performance had been "really wonderful."
Australia's Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion and the only man from his homeland to win the Masters, says the new champion can expect his own "Matsu-mania" in Japan.
Matsuyama becomes the second man from an Asian country to win a major. Y.E. Yang of South Korea won the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine over Tiger Woods.
Play was halted for 78 minutes by a fast-moving line of thunderstorms, transforming a course that was playing as tough as anybody could remember before getting its first dousing of the week.
A victory would give Japan a sweep this week. Tsubasa Kajitani won the Augusta National Women's Amateur last Saturday.
Lahiri's rise up the leaderboard will inject the confidence he needed in his game following a lean spell in 2021, where he has missed five cuts in seven starts.
A big drive gave Collin Morikawa his first major. A big putt gave Viktor Hovland his first win. And a big iron — in Bryson DeChambeau's case, a really big iron — allowed players to consider an unconventional approach to the game.
Ortiz holed two long birdie putts from off the green to take the lead, then was rock solid down the stretch and delivered the winning shots for a 5-under 65 and a two-shot victory in the Houston Open.