Hideki Matsuyama wins first PGA Tour title at the Memorial
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama defeated American Kevin Na in a play-off to become the youngest-ever champion of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
It was the first PGA Tour victory for the 22-year-old, and the win moved him to a career-high 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
This triumph at Muirfield Village is just the latest in a string of impressive accomplishments for Matsuyama, who played in the President’s Cup at the same venue in 2013.
After a dramatic finish at the Memorial that saw Matsuyama sink a five-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a sudden death play-off with Na, host Jack Nicklaus commented, “I think you’ve just seen the start of what’s going to be truly one of the world’s great players.”
Matsuyama first emerged on the global golf scene in 2010 when he won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, one of the world’s leading amateur events that is organised by The R&A, The Masters Tournament and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation.
He successfully defended this title in 2011 before winning his first professional event, the Japan Golf Tour’s Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters, while still an amateur.
While studying at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, Matsuyama was an R&A Foundation Scholar and one of more than 100 students that are supported by The R&A annually through funds generated by The Open Championship. He led the Japan team to the gold medal in the 2011 World University Games and also earned a further gold medal as an individual in the men’s division.
In August 2012, he became the number one ranked player in the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™ before turning professional in April 2013 and winning four more events on the Japan Golf Tour.
He qualified for The Open Championship after winning International Final Qualifying in Thailand and went on to finish tied sixth at Muirfield in 2013.
Matsuyama is currently the highest-ranked Asian player in the world and will make his return to The Open Championship in July at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake.
Matsuyama appears in The R&A's free Japanese Rules of Golf app along with Ryo Ishikawa and Tsuneyuki “Tommy” Nakajima. The app is available for iOS - see here for more info.