It’s Masters Sunday at Augusta National, meaning a new champion will be crowned and awarded the highly coveted green jacket. At this point, with a four-shot lead, the tournament is Hideki Matsuyama’s to lose.
The 29-year-old, Japanese native carded a round of 65 on Saturday, taking over the lead by four shots heading into the final round. Will Zalatoris, Xander Schuaffele, Justin Rose and Marc Leishman form the chase pack at -7 that will try to run down the leader on Sunday.
Matsuyama proved to be the best golfer on the course on Saturday, especially following a weather delay of 1 hour and 18 minutes. While the rest of the field struggled to adapt to Augusta National’s new conditions, the 25th-ranked player in the world thrived.
Matsuyama rattled off four birdies and an eagle on the back-nine in the third round to take the lead after the rain delay. He went into the clubhouse up four strokes and with plenty of momentum for the final round.
He also got plenty of attention for his impressive play from golf fans on social media.
Hideki Matsuyama is the first Japanese player to hold the lead at the end of any Masters round.
— ESPN (@espn) April 11, 2021
Nantz: after the weather delay, you came back and played an incredible round…what did you do during that hour long weather delay?
Hideki Matsuyama: I sat in my car looking at my cell phone
Relatable + legend. pic.twitter.com/z1OgYRD4kT
— Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) April 10, 2021
The third round was a tale of two seasons—Justin Rose held his own through the first season, then Hideki Matsuyama took over. His 30 on the back nine was fantastic! It was great golf and he moved himself into position while the others moved themselves out of position. pic.twitter.com/BTVepkXpzE
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) April 11, 2021
Happy #Masters Sunday, everybody. Hoping for Hideki Matsuyama to hold his lead today!
— Jared Wyllys (@jwyllys) April 11, 2021
The round of 65 built off of Matsuyama’s four-under start to the tournament on Thursday and Friday. History says that the 29-year-old has a firm grasp on this year’s Masters, but anything can happen on Sunday at Augusta National.
Besides the group of four golfers that are four shots back of the lead, a handful of other players lurk within striking distance. ESPN’s golf analysts think that any player with six shots might be able to win, allowing Corey Connors and Jordan Spieth to be included in the conversation.
Matsuyama has finished in the top-15 at The Masters on four separate occasions but hasn’t broken through at any of the four major championships. If he can just hold on for 18 more holes, he’ll walk away on Sunday with the green jacket and his first PGA Tour win in over three years.
The post Golf World Reacts To Hideki Matsuyama’s Performance appeared first on The Spun.