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Hideki Matsuyama hangs on to win Masters by 1 shot to finish 10 under, make history

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama held off several charging challengers and his own nerves for a one-shot victory Sunday at the 2021 Masters, becoming the first male golfer from his country to win a major championship.

American Will Zalatoris was runner-up after a final-round 70 to get to nine-under.

Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele tied for third at seven-under.

Matsuyama, 29, who overcame bogeys on the 12th, 15th, 16th and 18th holes in the final round, started his triumphant surge Saturday afternoon, when, after waiting out a rain delay by playing video games in his car in the parking lot, shot six-under par over the final eight holes to take a four-shot overnight lead.

On Sunday, after opening his final round with a bogey, Matsuyama birdied three of his next eight holes, then survived a nervous finish. He bogeyed the final hole to finish one-over-par 73 and 10-under for the tournament. 

Hideki Matsuyama celebrates with his caddie Shota Hayafuji on the 18th green after winning the Masters on April 11.

Two Japanese women have won majors: Hisako Higuchi won the 1977 LPGA Championship and Hinako Shibuno won the 2019 Women’s British Open. A week ago, his countrywoman, 17-year-old Tsubasa Kajitani, won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who won the November Masters just five months ago, failed to make the cut after rounds of 74 and 75.

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