Masters Recap!


This year’s Masters was very eventful not to mention historical. Ten years after Hideki Matsuyama was termed the best amateur at the Augusta National, he took home the green jacket as the first Japanese winner of the Masters Tournament. Matsuyama shot 1-over 73 on the last day to seal the victory. This was the first Masters champion with a final round over par since Trevor Immelman shot 75 in 2008.

On Thursday, Justin Rose shocked headlines with his 7-under 65 which was 9.5 strokes lower than the field average, but Matsuyama only trailed by a few strokes. In the second round, on Friday, Rose maintained the lead but only shot a par 72, while Will Zalatoris, who was ranked 483rd a year ago, climbed to second place. Saturday, in the third round, Matsuyama stepped up his game. Midway through the third round, there was an hour delay which caused Rose to be thrown off his game. In the last eight holes, the Japanese golfer hit four birdies, an eagle and no bogeys to storm into a four-shot lead with just 18 holes remaining in the Masters.

On the final day of the Masters, Will Zalatoris lowered this gap to one stroke. Only for a brief amount of time did this last until Matsuyama got back into his groove and birdied the eighth and ninth hole to extend his lead. With a late charge, Xander Schauffele gave the Japanese golfer a run for his money. Schauffele hit four birdies in a row with three holes left to play on the final day shortening the gap to two strokes between Matsuyama and the American golfer. On the sixteenth hole, Shauffele choked hard. On this par-3 he hit the ball into the water and ended up with a triple boegey. This bumped him out of second place and caused him to lose over half a million dollars in prize money!

Matsuyama finished at 10-under 278 for his 15th victory worldwide, and his sixth on the PGA Tour. Will Zalatoris made an eighteen foot putt to end up as the runner up of the 2021 Masters and made history. He had the best performance of a first-timer to the Masters since Jordan Spieth was runner-up in 2014 to Bubba Watson. Following the win, Matsuyama said, ”Hopefully, I’ll be a pioneer and many other Japanese will follow”. He became the second person from an Asian country to win a major. Y.E. Yang from South Korea won the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine over Tiger Woods.