Hideki Matsuyama made history for himself and Japan on Sunday, becoming the first Japanese golfer to win the Masters Tournament. He finished with a score of 10 under par. Moreover, Matsuyama bested his previous best finish at Augusta National Golf Club (tied for fifth in 2015), won his first major and secured his first PGA Tour event victory since the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in August 2017.
Behind Matsuyama were Masters rookie Will Zalatoris in second place (9 under); Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, tied for third (7 under); John Rahm and Marc Leishman, tied for fifth (6 under); and 36-hole leader Justin Rose in seventh place (5 under). Matsuyama looked as if he would run away with the Masters after shooting 2 under on the front nine, including three birdies, to swell his lead to six strokes. But three bogeys, including consecutive ones on the 15th and 16th, made the final margin of victory considerably closer. Schauffele — who was paired with Matsuyama — birdied 12 through 15 to get to two strokes in back of the leader.
Unfortunately for Schauffele, a brutal triple bogey on 16 removed any chance of him seriously challenging Matsuyama for the Masters win. Still, Matsuyama’s miscues allowed Zalatoris, who had already finished his tournament, to stay in contention: He even stayed on the range in case Matsuyama somehow finished with an epic meltdown to send the tournament to a playoff. Matsuyama’s approach on 18 landed in the bunker, leaving a small glimmer of hope for the Masters rookie. But Matsuyama remained even-keeled, bailed himself out and two-putted for bogey to finish with his first Masters Tournament victory, 10 years after being the low amateur at Augusta.