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Tiger Woods congratulates Hideki Matsuyama for history-making Masters win

The Telegraph

Reticent superstar becomes Japan’s new hero as millions watch Hideki Matsuyama the master from home

The folks of Ehime Prefecture, 13 time zones from Augusta, had woken at 3.40am to see if their {golfing} icon might turn out to be the primary Japanese winner of a serious. Not that the unsociable hour was an imposition. For in terms of following Hideki Matsuyama, the reticent celebrity with the staccato swing, virtually any extra is indulged. Once it was Ryo Ishikawa who had this poster-boy impact, drawing battalions of Tokyo journalists to his each occasion. But for the previous eight years their consideration has been monopolised by Matsuyama, who ended their wait for glory with this stubborn piece of front-running. Under suffocating strain from his 126 million countryfolk, Matsuyama absorbed all of it, as his six-shot lead dwindled to at least one, and at the same time as enjoying associate Xander Schauffele mounted an almighty back-nine cost. Matsuyama had loved a ceremony contained in the Butler Cabin as soon as earlier than, when he was the main beginner in 2011, however nothing in comparison with the pressure he felt standing on the primary tee final with virtually his whole nation watching him through the Tokyo Broadcasting System. While he sprayed his opening drive horribly proper, straight into the dogwoods, he navigated the stumble nonchalantly, shoring up and shortly extending his lead with a poise his pursuers couldn’t hope to match. A detour into the water on the fifteenth threatened to derail him, solely for Schauffele to implode on the subsequent gap. At the guts of all of it, Matsuyama stored his valuable sense of peace. Weary of getting his each transfer shadowed by Japanese reporters, he has benefited these previous 4 days from the drastic cuts to reporters on web site on account of Covid restrictions. “It’s not my favourite thing to do, to stand and answer questions,” he acknowledged. “With fewer media, it has been a lot less stressful for me.” The impact of a clearer head on his golf has been considerable. In patches at this Masters, Matsuyama has produced brushstrokes the envy of something painted on golf’s most pristine canvas. When the sirens sounded for a storm that interrupted his Saturday progress, he retired to his automobile to play video video games. He returned to ship a again 9 of 30, a sequence of outrageous high quality, the place his towering iron pictures obtained their due reward on the rain-soaked greens. As he switched to course administration mode for his closing spherical, he remained serene, put at his ease by Schauffele talking to him in Japanese, a mirrored image of the Californian’s cultural heritage on his mom’s aspect.

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