The Masters 2021: Hideki Matsuyama’s triumph provides wings to Japanese problem, evokes Asia’s golf neighborhood

The Masters 2021: Hideki Matsuyama’s triumph provides wings to Japanese problem, evokes Asia’s golf neighborhood

‘ it is actually inspiring is absolutely wonderful. I am very completely satisfied for him. He is a incredible particular person, like I stated. He’s actually nice for Japan, and for golf. the Olympics are coming to Japan and we’ve the present Masters champion, representing Japan.

Everybody on the PGA Tour is aware of Hideki Matsuyama as a quiet particular person, who has a everlasting smile on his face. And he appears to take each success and failure with a way of equanimity, or at the least that’s what it appears, however India’s Anirban Lahiri, who plies his commerce on the PGA Tour, is aware of Matsuyama somewhat greater than many others.

Lahiri, who has teed up on the Masters 3 times, stated, “I’m lucky sufficient to know him somewhat bit, he’s only a incredible man. He doesn’t say a lot and he’s soft-spoken. He’s received a giant coronary heart and actually loves the sport and taking part in his finest on a regular basis. I understand how a lot emotion he in all probability felt and nonetheless feels. It’s in all probability nonetheless sinking in for him.”

“Hideki could be very measured and calm however he is a really emotional particular person he’s somebody who has a giant coronary heart, and somebody who actually cares. He thinks deeply concerning the recreation and loves the sport. I understand how badly he has been eager to do nicely, particularly on the Masters.”

Lahiri and Matsuyama had fashioned a bond of types in 2015 once they have been each a part of the Worldwide Crew on the Presidents Cup. Golf, by nature, is a person sport, however as Lahiri as soon as informed me, occasions just like the Presidents Cup or the EurAsia Cup (between Asia and Europe) that he performed 3 times, create a particular bond between some. It was the identical for Lahiri and Matsuyama, who had come from far-off lands to hunt {golfing} success in the USA.

A few months later they performed the star-studded Hero World Problem within the Bahamas. As Bubba Watson received the title, Matsuyama and Lahiri shared seventeenth place in a subject of 18. However Matsuyama closed the week with a 66 and I nonetheless bear in mind Lahiri telling me then in December 2016, “Be careful for Hideki. He’s particular.”

The Masters 2021 Hideki Matsuyamas triumph gives wings to  Japanese challenge inspires Asias golf community

Hideki Matsuyama received The Masters event by one shot to grow to be the primary golfer from Japan to win the foremost. AP

Precisely a yr later on the similar course in Albany, Lahiri didn’t make the sphere, however Matsuyama was again and from being proper on the backside in December 2015, he had scaled to the very high because the winner in December 2016 as he rode a sequence of 4 wins in 5 begins – the worst being a second place. He received twice in Japan, WGC in China, and the Hero World Problem within the Bahamas. The run continued in 2017 and he reached as excessive as World No 2.

Between 2015 and 2017 he had 4 High-5s in Majors and a T-7.

After a win on the WGC-Bridgestone, his second WGC, he didn’t win something. Not till he took the Inexperienced Jacket,

This week Lahiri recalled, “I bear in mind, I feel it was about 4 years in the past, and he had a fairly few wins behind him within the 2016-2017 interval together with on the star-studded Hero World Problem. Coming into the Masters, there was a variety of hype however he did not play nicely by his requirements (he was T-11 in 2017 after being fifth in 2015. And T7 in 2016). He was dissatisfied. The Masters is one place he has all the time wished to do nicely.”

As for seeing Masters from his sitting room, Lahiri added, “I did see fairly a little bit of the Masters, I feel they have been fairly just a few wonderful issues to see, all very inspiring. The comeback from Justin Rose on Thursday was spectacular, to say the least, it (the course) was in all probability taking part in the toughest that day seeing that it was some wonderful golf, the best stage of golf you may ever see.

“And, then there was Hideki (Matsuyama) on Saturday. The way in which he performed, nicely really the entire week was wonderful. However particularly on Saturday, he appeared to take it by the horns and simply hit shot after shot after shot. It was fairly intense and so wonderful to observe. On Sunday it was nerve-wracking for him, greater than anybody else. However a variety of us actually actually wished him to win, myself included.

“Yeah, it was tense to see him stumble somewhat bit ultimately however what a efficiency. I do know he isn’t going to say a lot. However I do know it would take a while to sink even for him, although he all the time he knew he was succesful.”

He went on, “As a pal and as a Presidents Cup accomplice and as a fellow Worldwide Crew and fellow Asian, I had so many causes to cheer for him to root for him and to see him get it performed, and put on a inexperienced jacket, it was nice.

” it is actually inspiring is absolutely wonderful. I am very completely satisfied for him. He is a incredible particular person, like I stated. He’s actually nice for Japan, and for golf. the Olympics are coming to Japan and we’ve the present Masters champion, representing Japan.

“That is going to be wonderful Japanese golf, Asian golf, and world golf. I want him much more success within the occasions to come back and you recognize hopefully a variety of us and may comply with in his footsteps.”

Asian golfers rooting for Matsuyama included Si Woo Kim, who received the Gamers in 2017, and Korea’s Byeong Hun An, who feels Hideki’s win might result in a Japanese explosion on the highest stage in golf.

When YE Yang delivered Asia’s maiden main title within the males’s competitors following a memorable victory on the 2009 PGA Championship, An was amongst the throng of Asian children who have been immediately impressed.

Japanese gamers are much more ecstatic, as Satoshi Kodaira stated, “Hideki successful the Masters is an incredible and historic achievement that he did on behalf of Japan. It’s inspirational and undoubtedly offers added motivation to the Japanese gamers competing in Japan and to these of us, myself included, taking part in in America to exit and attempt to win.”

Some years again, Ryo Ishikawa hit the highlight and in some way the strain appeared to have gotten to him. Although he received rather a lot in Japan, he was unable to make a mark within the US and he’s now attempting once more.

However there are younger weapons like newly turned professional Takumi Kanaya and newbie Keita Nakajima, who needs to complete school earlier than turning professional. Solely three Japanese gamers have held the No 1 place in World Amateurs. The primary was Matsuyama, who additionally received the Asian Amateurs in 2010 and 2011, which is how he performed the Masters first. Then it was Takumi Kanaya, who was Asian Amateurs in 2018 and was additionally World No 1 newbie for 55 weeks. After which Nakajima, who was second to Kanaya in 2018, grew to become World No 1 newbie in late 2020 taking on from Kanaya. Nakajima continues to be within the third yr in school in Japan.

So, with Matsuyama appearing because the inspiration, be careful for the Japanese problem in world golf.

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