2021 Masters leaderboard, scores: Hideki Matsuyama makes history as first Japanese man to win golf major
With stellar ball-striking and a command of Augusta National unmatched by anyone in the field over the final two rounds, Hideki Matsuyama converted a 54-hole lead into his first green jacket and major championship, winning the 2021 Masters by one stroke on Sunday. Matsuyama’s victory in this 85th Masters is not only his first green jacket but the first major championship won by a Japanese men’s golfer and only the second ever captured by a men’s golfer from an Asian nation (Y.E. Yang of South Korea, 2009 PGA Championship).
Though he has consistently been in contention at majors over the last few years, Matsuyama previously struggled to get the job done over weekend as he carried the weight and hopes of a nation on his shoulders. From 2015-17, he achieved top-five finishes in four majors, including a fifth-place positioning at Augusta National in 2015. That’s what sparked Matsuyama’s emergence as one of the top golfers in the world. He spent much of 2017 in the top five of the Official World Golf Rankings, even reaching No. 2 twice after top-five finishes at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship that year.
It’s been a bit of a grind for Matsuyama to make it back to this point as Sunday’s victory is his first since the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August 2017. Long regarded as one of the elite ball-strikers in the game, Matsuyama was able to put it all together on the greens with impressive putting performances on the weekend to put the victory on ice.
With Matsuyama, the Masters gets its sixth first-time winner in the last seven years, the only exception being Tiger Woods’ epic win in 2019. Five of those six newly-minted champions had not won a major prior to slipping on the green jacket, the exception being Dustin Johnson winning his second major at Augusta National in November 2020.
Matsuyama also cements his place in history as the first Japan-born Masters winner and men’s major champion with his victory occuring 10 years after he first appeared at Augusta National as a 19-year-old amateur. He finished T27 in that Masters, scoring a 4-under 68 on Sunday to collect the low-amateur trophy in a ceremony alongside Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
A decade later, it is Matsuyama slipping on the green jacket after a Masters win for the ages just one week after fellow Japanese golfer Tsubasa Kajitani captured the second annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
CBS Sports will continue updating this story with highlights from the Masters as Matsuyama dons the green jacket for the first time. Check out the complete leaderboard from the 85th Masters.