The Memorial Tournament may take place at the house that Jack Nicklaus built at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, but it was Hideki Matsuyama’s course Sunday.
Matsuyama won the 2014 Memorial over Kevin Na in thrilling fashion but not before it went to an extra hole, as the tournament’s official Twitter page noted:
We have a two-man playoff at #theMemorial! 1-hole playoff at Hole 18. First at Jack's Place since 1992.— Memorial Tournament (@MemorialGolf) June 1, 2014
Matsuyama eventually prevailed in that playoff with an incredible up-and-down save and won himself some cash along the way.
Here is a look at the final top 10 as well as the prize money distributions for each. The total purse was $6.2 million.
|1||Hideki Matsuyama||-13 (won playoff)||$1,116,000|
*Full leaderboard can be viewed via PGATour.com
The two-man battle for the championship in the playoff was obviously the main headline from Sunday’s action, and Matsuyama won the title because of his excellence on the 18th hole. He became the first player to ever birdie the final hole in all four rounds at the Memorial, which drew the admiration of Nicklaus himself during the tournament:
What’s more, it was on that 18th that he won the championship with multiple clutch shots. Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch seemed impressed by the results:
What a great up and down by Matsuyama to win the @MemorialGolf playoff vs. Na.— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) June 1, 2014
If Matsuyama’s comments before the final round Sunday were any indication, he was likely overjoyed by the victory, via Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch:
I asked Matsuyama yesterday about chance to win Memorial. "Winning on Mr. Nicklaus’ course,nothing would beat that," he said via interpreter— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) June 1, 2014
Fan favorite Bubba Watson finished just off the pace at 12 shots under par, but he had a golden opportunity to win the title. However, as Justin Ray of the Golf Channel pointed out, Watson simply fell apart down the stretch, which ultimately cost him the Memorial championship:
Bubba Watson's last 5 holes: +3, 1/4 fairways, 1/5 greens in regulation— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) June 1, 2014
Another popular golfer with the galleries that had an opportunity on Sunday to win the title was Adam Scott. Scott finished at 10 under par, but were it not for the stretch from holes 12 through 16, he would have likely won. He finished with a crippling double-bogey on No. 12, which was a par three, and tallied a bogey on Nos. 14, 15 and 16. It was ultimately too much to overcome.
Among the other notable performers was defending Memorial champion Matt Kuchar, who finished at six under par and a tie for 15th place alongside Rory McIlroy. McIlroy shot an incredible 63 in the first round Thursday, so he was likely disappointed with the way he finished the tournament.
Elsewhere, Phil Mickelson finished in a tie for 49th place at one under par, Dustin Johnson tied for 46th at two under par and Jason Dufner finished in a tie for 19th place at five under par.
If we are to take an incredibly early peak ahead to next year’s Memorial, Matsuyama will almost assuredly be back to defend his title.
The Memorial almost always has a loaded field, so expect the premier names like McIlroy, Mickelson and Watson to be back again as challengers. Perhaps we may even see a healthy Tiger Woods in Dublin in 2015.
With Woods and the rest of the field primed to challenge Matsuyama, defending the Memorial title will be a difficult task. But as he showed over the weekend with a gutsy performance, he'll have a solid chance of defending his victory.
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