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Hideki Matsuyama surges into Masters lead with back-nine barrage at Augusta National


AUGUSTA, Ga. — There is one Japanese participant within the eighty fifth Masters Tournament – and he’s pulling away from the elite area.

Hideki Matsuyama shot 6-under-par 30 on the again that was softened by a day thunder bathe en path to 7-under-par 65, the day’s finest rating by three pictures, in Saturday’s third spherical.

Matsuyama, who’s looking for to turn out to be the primary Asian-born winner of the Masters Tournament, will carry a four-shot lead into Sunday’s ultimate spherical. That is identical lead Dustin Johnson had final 12 months; he went on to win his second main championship, by 5 pictures.

Matsuyama, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour who’s looking for his first main championship, is at 11-under 205 after taking part in his ultimate 8 holes in 6 beneath Saturday, highlighted by an eagle on No. 15. He leads the sphere in eagles via 54 holes with three. He additionally tied for the fewest putts on Saturday, with 25.

Justin Rose, the first- and second-round chief, is amongst 4 golfers tied for second place. Rose, who opened with 65, shot his second consecutive 72 and is tied with Xander Schauffele (68), Marc Leishman (70) and Masters rookie Will Zalatoris (71).

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Schauffele, who speaks some Japanese and conversed with Matsuyama throughout their spherical in that language once they performed collectively on Saturday, can be paired collectively once more in Sunday’s ultimate group of the day.

“It was really enjoyable,” Matsuyama mentioned of taking part in with Schauffele. “We didn’t talk much but we exchanged some good Japanese jokes and had some good laughs.”

Matsuyama, the world’s Twenty fifth-ranked golfer, has been shut earlier than in main championships. He was the runner-up within the 2017 U.S. Open, tied for fifth within the 2016 PGA Championship, was fifth within the 2015 Masters and tied for sixth within the 2013 British Open.

He’s already the one Japanese participant to win a World Golf Championship, at the 2016 HSBC Champions.

“I’m not sure how to answer the question,” Matsuyama mentioned when requested what it could imply to be the primary Japanese to win the Masters. “All I can do is prepare well, try my best and do the best I can tomorrow.”

Augusta National Golf Club has taken on a Japanese taste up to now week. Japanese teenager Tsubasa Kajitani won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and now Matsuyama could make it two Japanese winners in a row on Augusta National grounds.

“Hopefully, I can follow in her footsteps and make Japan proud,” Matsuyama mentioned.

Matsuyama caught fireplace after a 1 hour, 18 minute climate delay Saturday afternoon that softened up the course. When play resumed at 5:15 p.m. ET, Matsuyama hit his second shot beneath some timber on No. 11, resulting in a birdie.

He then birdied No. 12, made eagle on No. 15, birdied Nos. 16 and 17 and made a fantastic par save from behind the inexperienced on No. 18 to finish the 65.

Masters Tournament

Masters Tournament

Hideki Matsuyama walks off the thirteenth inexperienced in the course of the third spherical of the 2021 Masters Tournament. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

“Before the horn blew, I didn’t hit a very good drive,” Matsuyama mentioned, referring to No. 11. “After the horn blew for the restart, I hit practically every shot exactly how I wanted to.”

Matsuyama is making an attempt to turn out to be the second Asian-born to win a significant championship. Korea’s Y.E. Yang received the 2009 PGA Championship, turning again Tiger Woods.

The finest Masters end by an Asian-born golfer was final 12 months when Korea’s Sungjae Im tied for second. The finest end by a Japanese golfer is fourth, by Toshi Izawa in 2001 and 2009 by Shingo Kayayama.

Four golfers are 4 again

After the foursome that’s 4 pictures behind Matsuyama comes Corey Conners (68), who’s 5 again and Jordan Spieth (72), who trails by six.

Conners, who bounced his tee shot into the outlet on No. 6 for gap in a single, practically holed out his second shot on No. 18, a par-4, for an eagle. His shot clanged off the pin after one bounce, however he didn’t make the 14-foot birdie putt.

The ultimate group in right this moment’s ultimate spherical will go off at 2:40 p.m. ET, which the traditional Sunday final-round beginning time for the ultimate group, however will probably be the primary time it has occurred since 2018.

In 2019 final-round tee instances have been moved up due to predicted afternoon storms, with the ultimate group going off at 9:20 a.m. ET.

In 2020, the ultimate tee time have been 9:29 a.m. ET as a result of it was performed in November.

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