Matsuyama Wins Masters, Becomes First Japanese Man to Win a Major

A historic victory in Augusta, Georgia

The Masters - Final Round
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan celebrates during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021.
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Masters ended on Sunday evening with a moment for the ages: Hideki Matsuyama’s historic win. As The New York Times noted in its report on the event, Matsuyama was the first golfer born in Asia to win The Masters, and is the first Japanese man to win one of the majors. Bill Pennington at the Times succinctly explained why Matsuyama’s win was such a feat: Matsuyama entered the tournament ranked 25th in the world, and his last tournament win came in 2017.

Matsuyama finished a stroke ahead of Will Zalatoris, who was competing in the Masters for the first time. Bleacher Report notes that Matsuyama will make $2.07 million for his win. All told, $11.5 million in prizes will be issued.

The tournament was a unique one for many reasons besides Matsuyama’s commanding game and Zalatoris’s impressive debut. As ESPN’s report points out, several of the game’s most prominent players were absent from the field of play: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka didn’t make the 36-hole cut, and Tiger Woods is continuing to recover after his car accident earlier this year.

10 years earlier, Matsuyama received low-amateur honors at the 2011 Masters. For the golfer, now 29, this weekend was certainly an impressive way of celebrating that anniversary.

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