Matsuyama leads the way for Japan

 

Hideki Matsuyama is such an impressive golfer. He’s a battler, dogged and determined and at 23 years old is another of the young guns who are transforming golf at the top. His victory in Phoenix at the weekend, beating Rickie Fowler who is in supreme form. This will hopefully kick start the sport again in Japan which has been in serious decline. Matsuyama is refreshingly honest about the state of his game:

“I struggled all week with my game, but it really came around today and I was really pleased that it did,” said Matsuyama, who hadn’t won on the PGA Tour since the 2014 Memorial and now has eight worldwide wins. “I’m really happy that I won. Surprised and sad that Rickie finished that way, but all I can do is my best, and I was lucky to come out on top.

“I’m really happy. Really, really happy with the win. It’s been a while since the first one.”

While talks continue about a merger of the Asian and European Tours, the JGTO still want to retain their own tour, which has 25 events in 2016. This makes it stronger than the Asian and One Asia tours. Sandwiched between what will be an Asian Tour run by the European Tour and the PGA Tour of China run by the USPGA Tour, the Japanese are determined to keep their own identity. Their tour starts on April 17 as the weather is too cold to play there before, allowing time for their players to play in co-sanctioned events before to warm up. With Song Young-han beating Jordan Spieth in the Singapore Open last week the emergence of a new breed of young players from across the world can only be a great for the sport.

 

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