Tournament article


Hideki Matsuyama finishes 1 shot behind the leader Tiger Woods on Round 1

World top players are gathered in Japan for the first time, but for Hideki it's "life as usual but stage is in Japan".

Hideki Matsuyama who has won 5 times on US PGA Tour feels at home and really appreciates the warm support from his Japanese fans.
"It was like this when I came back in 2016 for Japan Open. So many kind and supporting cheers gave me strength to win my first Japanese Major title. My good score today was also helped by the cheers. I know my game is not at its best, but I was able to play aggressive thanks to the big cheers I received today."

Hideki made 7 birdies and 2 bogeys to score 65, just 1 shot behind the leaders. He chose to change his putter and also his shaft for the Driver to adjust to the Narashino CC.

"Doing these changes made my tee shots stable, which I didn't have for past year. I was able to hit with confidence."
As he said, his tee shot on the starting hole kept the fairway and lead to 3-meter birdie start. His Irons were hot too. On Par 3 3rd, he got to 1.5 meters. Then on 5th, he made 6-meter birdie putt and on 15th, his 2nd shot darted to 30 cm to the pin. On 18th, his last hole of the day, he reached the green edge on 2. His eagle try was 2-meter short, but he drained the birdie putt to finish with style.

Hideki was in the same group with Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth, both are very popular and has many fans in Japan, so at the starting hole, a huge roar was heard. ZOZO Championship is another PGA Tour tournament for most of the players, but for Hideki it is special, "I get cheers in Japanese. I don't get my name called in US often, but here everyone calls me and that is so great. I am in good position today, so I would like to continue playing well from tomorrow and on."