Hideki Matsuyama Wins the Masters

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Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA — April 11, 2021

Hideki Matsuyama teed off with a four-stroke lead on the final day of The Masters Tournament. By the time he finished the 1st hole, three of those strokes had disappeared. Will Zalatoris birdied the first two holes while Matsuyama was walking to his ball deep into the trees to the right off the first tee.

Matsuyama rallied for bogey, but the damage was done. Matsuyama -10, Zalatoris -9. A hole later, Matsuyama scrambled for a birdie on the 2nd. Zalatoris bogeyed the 3rd and the lead went back up to 3 strokes. The pressure of the final round was felt early.

After the opening bobble, Matsuyama steadied himself and ran off five straight pars. Birdies on 8 & 9 along with Zalatoris bogeys on 10 and 12 and the lead had grown to 6 strokes. But it’s the final 9 at Augusta that burns you up or stamps you as a champion.

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Heading to Amen Corner

On the par-3 12th hole Matsuyama knocked it over the green into the left bunker framed by the azaleas on this devilish 155-yard hole over water.  A safe out of the sand trap left his ball on the back fringe, not taking any chances with the water off the front of the green. Two putts and the lead was now 5 strokes.

With no one making a run the advantage looked safe. A birdie on the par-5 13th returned the advantage to 6, but Zalatoris soon birdied the par-5 15th. With birdies on four straight holes, 12 through 15, Xander Schauffele got to 10 under. Matsuyama overcooked his iron shot into the 15th green, the ball hit the downslope on the back of the green and it rolled into the water on the adjacent 16th hole.

Another safe chip and Matsuyama lay four, just off the back of the green. Two puts and the lead was down to two. Schauffele, playing with the leader, was able to see the potential to close the gap further on the par-3 16th.

Zalatoris birdied the 17th and closed to within 3 strokes at 9 under. Jordan Spieth, teeing off on the 18th, was at 8 under. John Rahm was the leader in the clubhouse at 6 under, after a final round 66.

The Finish

Schauffele hit his tee shot just short of the greenside bunker protecting the final day hole location on the 16th. Unfortunately, it did not catch the putting surface and bounced off the bank and into the water. Hitting from the drop zone he flew his 3rd shot into the patrons behind the green. A chip and two putts resulted in a triple-bogey 6 and Schauffele’s dreams of a green jacket disappeared.

Matsuyama safely avoided the water but left his tee-shot high above the hole with a wicked left-to-right break. Putting with his back to the hole, he blew past the cup leaving an uphill putt to save par. He missed! With a chance to sew up the first major championship win for a golfer from Japan, Matsuyama now had to sweat out the final two holes.

Zalatoris birdied the 17th and sunk a long par putt on 18 to post a score of 9 under in the clubhouse. Matsuyama, at 11 under, needed two solid holes to secure the win. Perfectly placed shots on the 17th gave him the par-4 and he held the 2-stroke lead to the 18th tee.

Hideki Matsuyama / Photo Courtesy of PGATour.com

Matsuyama Dons the Green Jacket

Straight down the middle of the fairway on 18 and Matsuyama passed the biggest test on the final hole. With 135 yards to the pin, his pitching wedge was pin-high but drifted right into the greenside bunker. One last bit of drama.

Safely out of the trap to within 6 feet of the hole and Matsuyama had two putts for the win. He used both of them to finish at 10 under, a single stroke ahead of Zalatoris. He needed every bit of margin that he built for himself, but it won’t matter at all when the Green Jacket slides onto his shoulders.

Hideki Matsuyama celebrates in the traditional green jacket after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday. Photo Credit: Matt Slocum / Associated Press

The Final Day Leaderboard at the 2021 Masters

Rank Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Total
1 Hideki Matsuyama 69 71 65 73 -10 (278)
2 Will Zalatoris 70 68 71 70 -9 (279)
3t Xander Schauffele 72 69 68 72 -7 (281)
3t Jordan Spieth 71 68 72 70 -7 (281)
5t Marc Leishman 72 67 70 73 -6 (282)
5t Jon Rahm 72 72 72 66 -6 (282)
7 Justin Rose 65 72 72 74 -5 (283)
8t Corey Conners 73 69 68 74 -4 (284)
8t Patrick Reed 70 75 70 69 -4 (284)
10t Tony Finau 74 66 73 72 -3 (285)
10t Cameron Smith 74 68 73 70 -3 (285)
12t Stewart Cink 74 69 72 71 -2 (286)
12t Brian Harman 69 69 74 74 -2 (286)
12t Si Woo Kim 71 69 74 72 -2 (286)
12t Robert MacIntyre 74 70 70 72 -2 (286)
12t Kevin Na 75 70 70 71 -2 (286)
12t Webb Simpson 70 76 70 70 -2 (286)
18t Tyrrell Hatton 71 74 74 68 -1 (287)
18t Collin Morikawa 73 69 75 70 -1 (287)
18t Scottie Scheffler 73 72 71 71 -1 (287)
21t Harris English 74 71 73 70 E (288)
21t Viktor Hovland 73 70 72 73 E (288)
21t Shane Lowry 71 73 72 72 E (288)
21t Phil Mickelson 75 72 69 72 E (288)
21t Justin Thomas 73 67 75 73 E (288)
26t Abraham Ancer 75 69 75 70 +1 (289)
26t Paul Casey 73 74 73 69 +1 (289)
26t Cameron Champ 72 68 77 72 +1 (289)
26t Matt Jones 74 69 74 72 +1 (289)
26t Louis Oosthuizen 76 70 72 71 +1 (289)
26t Ian Poulter 74 73 72 70 +1 (289)
26t Charl Schwartzel 74 71 72 72 +1 (289)
26t Bubba Watson 74 70 73 72 +1 (289)
34t Matthew Fitzpatrick 74 70 73 73 +2 (290)
34t Ryan Palmer 74 68 73 75 +2 (290)
34t Michael Thompson 72 72 75 71 +2 (290)
34t Matt Wallace 74 72 71 73 +2 (290)
38t Martin Laird 74 71 72 74 +3 (291)
38t Henrik Stenson 73 71 71 76 +3 (291)
40t Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70 76 74 72 +4 (292)
40t Mackenzie Hughes 72 72 72 76 +4 (292)
40t Sebastian Munoz 74 73 71 74 +4 (292)
40t Joaquin Niemann 75 71 70 76 +4 (292)
40t Bernd Wiesberger 74 66 74 78 +4 (292)
40t Gary Woodland 73 72 75 72 +4 (292)
46t Bryson DeChambeau 76 67 75 75 +5 (293)
46t Tommy Fleetwood 74 70 73 76 +5 (293)
46t Brendon Todd 73 71 76 73 +5 (293)
49 Jason Kokrak 71 76 71 77 +7 (295)
50t Billy Horschel 76 71 73 76 +8 (296)
50t Jose Maria Olazabal 75 71 75 75 +8 (296)
52 Francesco Molinari 74 73 69 81 +9 (297)
53 Jim Herman 76 70 76 76 +10 (298)
54 Adam Scott 74 73 79 73 +11 (299)