Hideki Matsuyama has become the 2021 Masters champion, finishing one shot clear of the rest of the field at Augusta National in Georgia, USA.
In doing so, he becomes the first male golfer to win a major championship for Japan and the second to win one for Asia after South Korea’s Yang Yong-Eun at the PGA Championship in 2009.
The 29-year-old, whose previous best finish at Augusta had been fifth place in 2015, stayed under par for his first two rounds before really coming to the fore with a 65 on Saturday.
Matsuyama held a four-shot lead over Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman, Justin Rose and Will Zalatoris heading into the final round on Sunday.
On Sunday, he hit birdies at the second, eighth, ninth and 13th holes before bogeying the 15th to set up a nervy trip to the 16th, but his closest challenger at the time, Schauffele, hit a three over par on the 16th, with Matsuyama also bogeying the hole.
That said, Matsuyama steadied his nerves to par the 17th and bogey on the 18th, thus finishing three shots ahead of Schauffele, who dropped to third alongside Jordan Spieth, with Zalatoris second on nine under par.
Day 1 and Day 2 leader Rose ended the Masters in seventh place with a round of 74 on the final day, leaving him five under.
Spain’s Jon Rahm took advantage of an excellent final round score to come in tied-fifth alongside Leishman, while 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed finished eighth.
Round of the day
Having hit three successive 72s, Rahm shot a brilliant final round of 66, which was only bettered by Matsuyama‘s 65 on Saturday.
The Spaniard’s final round included birdies at the first, 12th and 15th holes, plus an eagle on the second hole.