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Prime minister leads celebrations of Matsuyama’s Masters win

TOKYO (AP) — Led by Japan’s prime minister, the nation celebrated golfer Hideki Matsuyama’s victory within the Masters — the primary Japanese participant to win at Augusta National and pull on the well-known inexperienced jacket.

“It was really wonderful,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated together with his nation struggling to tug off the postponed Tokyo Olympics in simply over three months. “As the coronavirus drags on, his achievement moved our hearts and gave us courage.”

Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, who tied for eighth within the Masters in 1973, stated he hoped extra Japanese male golfers can be impressed by Matsuyama.

“This is a great achievement for the Japanese golf world,” he said in comments on Japanese media. “And it came about because of Mr. Matsuyama’s own ability to take up challenges, his courage and all the effort that went into that.”

Isao Aoki completed second to Jack Nicklaus within the 1980 U.S. Open, the earlier greatest end by a Japanese male golfer in a serious.

Two Japanese ladies have gained golf majors: Chako Higuchi on the 1977 LPGA Championship and Hinako Shibuno on the 2019 Women’s British Open.

Aoki recalled how Matsuyama gained the low newbie title within the 2011 Masters simply weeks after the earthquake, tsunami and the meltdown of three nuclear reactors devastated the northeastern Fukushima space of Japan.

About 18,000 folks died within the catastrophe and the realm continues to be struggling to get better.

“This time, your Masters win came at a time when many people were feeling down, with many activities restricted in Japan amid a coronavirus pandemic, and you gave hope to so many people,” Aoki stated in feedback carried on-line in Japanese in Golf Digest.

Aoki added: “This win, which was the first for a Japanese as well as an Asian, was a moment we were all waiting for, not just myself but all the Japanese golf fans and those involved in the golf world.”

The U.S. Embassy in Japan despatched its congratulations to Matsuyama as “the first Japanese golfer to win The Masters.”

Outside busy Shimbashi prepare station in central Tokyo, retired employee Takashi Atsumi known as it a “tremendous result.”

“For him, I think it was a goal that was hard to reach despite his tremendous efforts over the past 10 years,” Atsumi stated. “I think it’s absolutely fantastic that he was able to achieve the goal today. I think he set a great milestone for the next generation of Japanese people.”


AP author Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this story.


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