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Green Jacket-ed Matsuyama would relish Olympic flame role


Hideki Matsuyama seems ahead to the response in Japan when he brings house the Masters champion inexperienced jacket and he would benefit from the concept of lighting the Tokyo Olympic cauldron.

Matsuyama celebrated changing into the primary Japanese man to win a significant golf title on Sunday when he captured the Masters by one stroke after a back-nine battle at Augusta National.

“I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like, but what a thrill and honor it’ll be for me to take the green jacket back to Japan,” Matsuyama mentioned. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo of England mentioned Matsuyama must be chosen to gentle the Tokyo Olympic cauldron subsequent July on the Games opening ceremonies after the historic victory.

“It would be quite an honor,” mentioned Matsuyama. “But I’m not sure about my schedule. If the schedules worked out and I’m in Japan when that happens and they ask me, what an honor that would be.”

The humble Matsuyama will virtually actually be in Japan as a member of Japan’s Olympic golf group. The males’s occasion opens July 29, simply days after the Games are set to start.

“I’m really looking forward to the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he mentioned. “If I’m on the team, and maybe it looks like I will be, I’ll do my best to represent my country, and hopefully I’ll play well.”

Matsuyama did that in Sunday’s closing spherical regardless of a one-over par 73 ending complete.

He mentioned the stress and nerves of enjoying for his nation and his personal dream of successful the Masters didn’t strike him till he was on the primary tee — about to strike his first shot.

“I felt really good going to the first tee, until I stood on the first tee, and then it hit me that I’m in the last group of the Masters Tournament and I’m the leader by four strokes,” he mentioned.

“And then I was really nervous. But I caught myself.”

His first shot went manner proper into timber and he opened wih a bogey however answered with a birdie on the second and grinded out a stable spherical earlier than a late cost by Xander Schauffele added some stress to the again 9.

– ‘Not pondering something’ –

Matsuyama made bogeys on three of the final 4 holes however led by sufficient to say a one-stroke victory, alhough it took a minute for that to sink in.

“When the final putt went in, I really wasn’t thinking of anything,” he mentioned. “But then hugging Xander — but then when I saw my caddie, Shota and hugged him, I was happy for him because this is his first victory on the bag.

“And then it began sinking in, the enjoyment of being a Masters champion.”

Part of the thrill, he said, is the idea that he could inspire some youth who become major golf rivals while he is still playing.

“It’s thrilling to suppose that there are numerous children in Japan watching,” he said. “Hopefully in 5, 10 years, after they get a bit of older, hopefully a few of them will likely be competing on the world stage.

“I still have a lot of years left, so they are going to have to compete against me still. But I’m happy for them because hopefully they will be able to follow in my footsteps.”

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