Injury knocks last year’s Masters champ out of Texas tournament

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan is awarded the Masters Trophy and the Green Jacket during the Green...
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan is awarded the Masters Trophy and the Green Jacket during the Green Jacket Presentation Ceremony following the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Sam Greenwood | Sam Greenwood/Augusta National)
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 12:12 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2022 at 12:46 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Just days ahead of the start of the 2022 Masters, last year’s champion has withdrawn from a Texas golf tournament due to a neck injury.

Hideki Matsuyama exited the second round of the Valero Texas Open on Friday, calling into question his status in this year’s Masters.

He’s set to defend his title next week.

He also withdrew from the Players Championship just before play started earlier this month, citing a back injury.

He was the first man from Japan to win a major championship and was the first Masters champion from Asia.

Matsuyama’s one-shot victory over Will Zalatoris last year at Augusta National was easily the biggest moment for the sport in Matsuyama’s golf-crazed homeland of Japan.

Japan has been sending golfers to the Masters since 1936, with about three dozen players combining for well over 100 appearances at Augusta National.

And none had ever finished a round atop the leaderboard until last year.

Masters 2021

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