• Matsuyama wins first US title in Memorial playoff

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    Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits his third shot on the 2nd hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. AFP PHOTO

    Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits his third shot on the 2nd hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. AFP PHOTO

    DUBLIN: Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama cemented his status as one of golf’s rising stars on Sunday (Monday in Manila), winning his first US PGA Tour title in a playoff at the Memorial.

    Matsuyama, who had birdied the final hole of regulation to force the playoff with Kevin Na, won at the first playoff hole with a 10-foot par putt.

    The 22-year-old Asian star became the fourth Japanese player to win on the US PGA Tour, notching the victory in just his 26th start.

    His triumph capped a wild final day that saw overnight leader Bubba Watson, the reigning Masters champion, drop out of contention after a bogey at 14 followed by a double-bogey seven at the par-five 15th at Muirfield Village.

    Matsuyama’s own hopes looked dim after a double-bogey at the par-three 16th and bogey at 17.

    He looked to be in trouble again after a poor tee shot at the last but finished with a birdie that capped a three-under par 69 for 13-under 275.

    He forced the playoff with South Korea-born American Na, who had been in the clubhouse for some two hours having completed a bogey-free eight-under par 64 for 275.

    They returned to 18 for the playoff, and Na was in a stream off the tee.

    Matsuyama was in a bunker off the tee and hit into the gallery from there. But he came up with a beautiful flop shot and drained a 10-foot putt for par to seal the victory.

    AFP

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