Hideki Matsuyama Wins 2021 Zozo Championship for 1st Win on PGA Tour in Japan

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVOctober 24, 2021

INZAI, JAPAN - OCTOBER 24: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan poses with the trophy after winning the tournament following the final round of the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on October 24, 2021 in Inzai, Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Hideki Matsuyama is having quite the year. 

The Masters champion won the Zozo Championship in Japan on Sunday by five strokes, shooting a five-under 65 in the final round to finish 15 strokes under par. 

Brendan Steele (-10), Cameron Tringale (-10), Mackenzie Hughes (-6), Matt Wallace (-6) and Sebastian Munoz (-6) rounded out the top six. 

Matsuyama was excellent Sunday, with three birdies, two eagles and two bogeys to pull away from the pack. 

"It was one of my biggest goals to win in front of the Japanese fans here in this country as well," he told reporters. "So happy that I'll be able to accomplish that. Also, in 2019 Tiger [Woods] won the Masters and went on to win the Zozo Championship, so I'm glad that I would be able to emulate that as well."


Eagle on 18 to win by FIVE.<br><br>Hideki Matsuyama seals the victory with an emphatic finish <a href="https://twitter.com/zozochamp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZOZOChamp</a>. <a href="https://t.co/jBMGZUAOB9">pic.twitter.com/jBMGZUAOB9</a>


The lead is 2️⃣.<br><br>3 birdies in his last 5 holes.<br><br>Hideki Matsuyama is heating up down the stretch <a href="https://twitter.com/zozochamp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZOZOChamp</a>. <a href="https://t.co/j7QMo7vxfd">pic.twitter.com/j7QMo7vxfd</a>


Feeding off the fans in Japan.<br><br>Hideki Matsuyama birdies No. 13 to take the solo lead <a href="https://twitter.com/zozochamp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZOZOChamp</a>. <a href="https://t.co/KY8OzRgmvF">pic.twitter.com/KY8OzRgmvF</a>


A birdie and a fist pump from Hideki. 💪<br><br>He walks it in on No. 11 to tie the lead <a href="https://twitter.com/zozochamp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ZOZOChamp</a>. <a href="https://t.co/oVJVXBJE8i">pic.twitter.com/oVJVXBJE8i</a>

Tringale was in the running heading into the 18th, down just two strokes, but his bogey—combined with Matsuyama's eagle—stretched the deficit to five. He also bogeyed No. 17. 

"I needed to kind of take a couple risks and unfortunately it didn't pan out, but I played 16 really good holes and, yeah, that was the day," he said.

Xander Schauffele, who won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, finished his tournament at even par after recovering from a tough Friday to shoot 68s on Saturday and Sunday. 

"It wasn't quite the same experience, didn't play as well, but I enjoyed being here despite the lockdown and COVID rules," he said. "I saw some of my family here, which was really cool. I don't get a big opportunity to see them, so that was kind of the shining moment for me."


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