Japan's Matsuyama wins Memorial in playoff over Na
(Reuters) - Hideki Matsuyama became the fourth Japanese player ever to win on the PGA Tour when he captured the Memorial tournament in a playoff over American Kevin Na in Dublin, Ohio on Sunday.
Matsuyama, 22, emerged victorious in a wild finish to become the youngest champion of the prestigious $6.2 million event at Muirfield Village.
He joined a short list of Japanese champions on tour, after Shigeki Maruyama (three wins), Isao Aoki and Ryuji Imada.
“This is a future megastar,” six-times major champion Nick Faldo said on the CBS television broadcast. “This man is strong physically, mentally and technically.”
Matsuyama made his share of mistakes down the stretch, but also hit a series of precise approach shots as major champions Bubba Watson and Adam Scott fell away.
The young Japanese won with a par at the first extra hole of the sudden-death playoff, sinking a 10-foot downhill putt in front of tournament host Jack Nicklaus.
“We have a great winner. This young man is going to win a lot of golf tournaments,” Nicklaus, the most decorated player ever with 18 major titles to his credit, told reporters.
“His first win in the United States, you’ve got to start somewhere and we’re proud he’s our winner. Twenty-two years, that’s how old I was when I won my first tournament (the 1962 U.S. Open)."
Matsuyama (69) and South Korean-born Na (64) finished at 13-under-par 275, one stroke ahead of overnight leader Bubba Watson. Continued...