Hideki Matsuyama has been knocking at the door of winning a major championship for years now, and it appears he is finally going to get over the hump at this year’s Masters. Should that happen, people are going to learn a lot more about the Japanese superstar … maybe.
Matsuyama is notoriously a very private person. Some of that has to do with the language barrier, as he predominantly speaks with the media through his interpreter, Bob Turner. Matsuyama has also admitted he does not love interacting with reporters, as he admitted on Saturday that it has been easier on him with less media and fans at the Masters due to COVID-19 protocols.
“I’m not sure how to answer this in a good way, but being in front of the media is still difficult,” Matsuyama said through Turner, according to Alan Bastable of Golf.com. “I’m glad the media are here covering it, but it’s not my favorite thing to do, to stand and answer questions. And so with fewer media, it’s been a lot less stressful for me.”
So while we know very little about Matsuyama, we do know he is married and has at least one child — a daughter. The 29-year-old shared the news at The Northern Trust back in August 2017 that he and his wife had welcomed a baby the month before. Bastable says that was a shock to reporters, who didn’t even know Matsuyama was married.
“No one really asked me if I was married, so I didn’t have to answer that question,” Matsuyama said. “But I felt that after the PGA would be a good time, because our baby is born and I thought that would be a good time to let everyone know.”
The PGA Tour’s website says Matsuyama’s wife’s name is Mei and his daughter’s name is Kanna.
Matsuyama is looking to become the first male Japanese golfer to win a major. He had a very simple message entering the final round as the leader at the Masters. If he can capture his first green jacket, the media will be itching to learn more about him.
John Rahm made a late push to get into contention at the Masters on Sunday, and there was at least one shot where he felt like he got some help from above.
Rahm took an extremely aggressive line with his tee shot at the par-3 12th hole. It paid off, as he left himself with a great look at birdie. You could tell he knew he took a big risk when he made the motion of a cross on his chest and put his hands up toward the sky as if to say, “Thank you.”
Will Zalatoris showed at the Masters why he is on the verge of becoming a household name, but we have some bad news for you if you were thinking about shooting your shot with the young golf star — it appears he is taken.
If social media is any indication, Zalatoris has been dating someone since at least late 2018. That someone would be Caitlyn Sellers, according to Golf Monthly.
Zalatoris first shared a photo of himself and Sellers on Instagram in December 2018 when they were visiting San Francisco. He has since shared several posts about his better half, though the most recent was last July.
Billy Horschel found himself in the dreaded Rae’s Creek for the second straight day during the final round of the Masters on Sunday, but the results were not as positive the second time around.
After he managed to save par on Saturday by hitting out of the creek that protects the 13th green at Augusta National, Horschel once again had to take his shoes off and roll up his pants the following day. He was able to find his ball, but it took him three swings to get out of the hazard this time.
It was a risky decision for Horschel to not take an unplayable, but you can understand why he did it. He saved par from a similar spot on Saturday, though he embarrassed himself in a much different way (video here).
Horschel moved to +6 for the tournament after the triple-bogey, so it will likely cost him some money in the end.
Will Zalatoris generated some buzz as a sleeper pick leading up to the 2021 Masters, and he has lived up to the hype through the first three rounds. Aside from his impressive golf game, you may have also heard of Zalatoris because of a hilarious pop culture reference — one the 24-year-old is embracing.
Many fans have hilariously observed that Zalatoris bears a striking resemblance to the actor who played Happy Gilmore’s first caddy in Adam Sandler’s legendary “Happy Gilmore” film.
Zalatoris, who entered the final round of the Masters tied for second at 7-under and just four strokes off the lead, is having fun with the comparison. He even had one of his wedges custom stamped to read “Mr. Gilmore I’m your caddy.”
Brooks Koepka was not at all happy after missing the cut on Friday at the Masters, and he made that clear.
The 30-year-old golfer shot five over through the first two rounds and missed the cut at Augusta National by two strokes. Koepka worked hard to return from knee surgery in time to play in the event, which made the outcome even more frustrating.
He was asked how disappointed he was to miss the cut and did not hold back.
“How f—ing disappointed do you think I am?” Koepka responded. “I worked my a– off just to get here. And then to play like this is pretty disappointing.”
Koepka is known for his raw honesty (as seen in this previous interview), so it’s not too surprising to hear him make those remarks. And the question wasn’t exactly a brainteaser, either. It was just a reporter likely looking for some sort of comment for a story.
Hideki Matsuyama is making some history at the Masters this weekend.
The 29-year-old shot an incredible 7-under 65 on Saturday at Augusta National to surge up the leaderboard with the lead. He became the first Japanese player to lead or co-lead after any round of the Masters.
Matsuyama also shot the first bogey-free round of golf at the major this week.
So what is Matsuyama’s mentality like entering Sunday’s final round? He was asked that question during an interview with CBS after his round on Saturday.
“This will be a new experience for me being the leader,” Matsuyama told Jim Nantz, via a translator. “All I can do is relax the best I can, prepare, and go out and give it my best tomorrow.”
Matsuyama is looking to become the first male Japanese golfer to win a major. He’s close to making it happen, but a lot can change over the final 18 holes. For now, based on his comments, it doesn’t seem like he is overwhelmed.
Conners is having a great Masters so far. The Canadian golfer shot a three-under 69 on Friday to put him two under for the tournament. His hole-in-one on Saturday put him three under through six holes (he also had two birdies and a bogey).
As of his hole-in-one, Conners was tied for fourth at three under.