Wednesday, 17 April 2024

SECURED AN HISTORIC VICTORY | Matsuyama takes historic ninth PGA TOUR victory at Genesis, Theegala 37th

IANS | Updated on Monday, February 19, 2024 11:22 AM IST
Matsuyama takes historic ninth PGA TOUR victory at Genesis, Theegala 37th

LOS ANGELES: Japan’s star Hideki Matsuyama secured an historic three-stroke victory at The Genesis Invitational to become the leading Asian golfer with the most PGA TOUR titles with an unprecedented nine career wins.

The 31-year-old started the final round six shots off the lead but put together one of the greatest rounds at the iconic Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles with a sensational 9-under 62 to win comfortably from Will Zalatoris (69) and Luke List (68). Overnight leader Patrick Cantlay finished tied fourth after a 72.

The win was worth $4 million from the $20 million purse and moves him to No. 20 in the world with the entire major season ahead of him. Matsuyama now has 18 wins worldwide, eight on the Japan Golf Tour and the unofficial Hero World Challenge, also hosted by Tiger Woods.

Indian-American Sahith Theegala (72-69-70-71) at 2-under had an average week in T-37th place, while World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (66) was T-10 and Rory McIlroy (70) was T-24. Earlier tournament host Tiger Woods withdrew from the event in the second round due to illness.

Matsuyama’s nine-birdie round without a bogey was the lowest final day score in history at Riviera and ended a frustrating two-year title drought. He broke a tie with Korea’s K.J. Choi for most victories by an Asian player.

His only disappointment was not being able to receive The Genesis Invitational trophy from tournament host Tiger Woods, who had to withdraw from the event on Friday due to illness.

“You know, to win in this tournament was one of my goals ever since I became a pro. After Tiger being the host, that goal became a lot bigger. A little disappointed I wasn't able to take a picture with Tiger today,” smiled Matsuyama, who won the Masters Tournament in 2021 to become Japan’s first male major champion.

Woods did offer his congratulations to the newest PGA TOUR Signature event champion, who also became the second Asian to win The Genesis Invitational following Chinese Taipei’s T.C. Chen in 1987. “Congratulations to @hidekiofficial_ on an incredible win at @thegenesisinv. I was watching all day and seeing a record breaking 62 and coming from six shots back is truly special,” the American legend posted on X (formerly Twitter).

 

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