How history was made at this year’s Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It was a history-making moment over the weekend at the 85th Masters Tournament when Hideki Matsuyama won his first green jacket.
Last year’s winner, Dustin Johnson — also a first-time champion — presented Matsuyama his green jacket after Sunday night’s win.
You could see a lot of joy and congratulations pouring in from patrons and players from Augusta National. Matsuyama even got a little emotional as he walked off the course.
But it was more than just a personal victory. Matsuyama is the first man from Japan to not only win the Masters, but any of golf’s majors.
Matsuyama said he’s helping set the bar for players in his country.
“So I can’t say if I’m the greatest. However, I’m the first to win a major, and if that’s the bar, then I’ve set it. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like, what a thrill and honor it will be for me to take the green jacket back to Japan, and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
The winner of the second-ever Women’s Amateur last week, Tsubasa Kajitani, is also from Japan.
Congratulations for Matsuyama are coming in from all corners of the globe.
It’s still morning here, but Japan has been celebrating all day.
On social media, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo is honoring Matsuyama.
Posting in Japanese, the embassy congratulated him and said the green jacket suits him well.
Japan’s prime minister also celebrated the victory.
On Japanese media, he said Matsuyama’s win “moved our hearts and gave us courage.”
And Tiger Woods, who wasn’t able to attend this year’s Masters Tournament, also offered congratulations.
Tiger says the historic win will impact the entire golf world.
The journey to victory
Matsuyama rocketed to the top after a weather delay Saturday afternoon.
Who would’ve thought a weather delay would’ve been the key factor in crowning this year’s Masters champion?
At four under entering moving day, no one really had Matsuyama on their radar.
However, after Saturday’s rain delay, he exploded to shoot 7 under and started championship Sunday as the leader at 11 under. Matsuyama had a four-stroke lead, as well.
And it would turn out he would need each of those strokes. just as the players predicted, the winning score this year was 10 under, and matsuyama was crowned the 2021 Masters champion.
“It’s thrilling to think that there are a lot of youngsters in japan watching today,” he said. “Hopefully in five, 10 years, when they get a little older, hopefully some of them will be competing on the world stage. But I still have a lot of years left, so they are going to have to compete against me still. But i’m happy for them because hopefully they will be able to follow in my footsteps.”
Will Zalatoris, in only his first Masters, did what some only dream of. He was two under in his final round and finished alone in second.
Justin Rose struggled on cut and moving days. It was more of the same on Sunday. He was two over, but finished alone in seventh place.
The big mover of the day was Jon Rahm. Rahm eagled the second hole and never looked back. He was six under on Sunday, and moved all the way into a tie for fifth place.
Xander Schauffele overcame a three-over start to get to 10 under by the 16th hole but ended up in the water and knocked himself out.
From there, Matsuyama had a two-stroke advantage over Zalatoris. And while he bogey’d 18, he still comes away as your 2021 Masters champion.
Players had been predicting this since last Monday ... somewhere between 10 and 12 under would become this year’s Masters champion.
They were right, as Matsuyama’s 100under performance won.
the others in the main chase group simply didn’t have enough to catch up to Matsuyama’s 4 stroke lead.
Some names from November were on the leaderboard, as well, including Cam Smith. Tony Finau shot well, but like the rest of the leaderboard, just didn’t have enough to keep up with Matsuyama.
This happened to be the 10-year anniversary of his first Masters Tournament, where he was low amateur.
Also in the news ...
- The past week also gave a boost to Augusta’s economy, which our local businesses have been needing. Officials with the Partridge Inn say although it wasn’t business as usual. They were at 90 percent capacity most of the week. The employees say they’re grateful because it was a small sign of recovery from a tough year.
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