Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama continued his remarkable run of recent form with victory in the Hero World Challenge at Albany in The Bahamas.
Hideki Matsuyama won the Hero World Challenge in The Bahamas by two shots from Henrik Stenson. Despite struggling to a final round of 73, the Japanese star did enough to stay ahead of the chasers and to secure the $1,000,000 first prize.
Matsuyama began the final day seven shots ahead of Stenson but The Open champion had closed the gap to just two strokes with two holes to play. But, Matsuyama dug deep to record pars on the 17th and 18th holes and to secure the victory.
Stenson finished alone in second with three players – U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler tied for third. Tournament host Tiger Woods completed his return to competitive action with a 76 to end the week in 15th place.
Rickie Fowler swing sequence:
3 Talking points from the Hero World Challenge
1 – Hideki Matsuyama has now won three tournaments in a row around the world and has won four of his last five. He won the Japan Open, then finished runner-up in Malaysia, he won again in the WGC HSBC Champions and then took another Japan Tour title. He is now sixth on the Official World Ranking, looking forward to a break and to next season.
“Starting next week all my focus and preparation will be for the Masters,” he said. “Hopefully, along the way I can play well on the PGA TOUR. But the Masters is my next goal.”
2 – Tiger Woods can take great positives from his first tournament in over 15 months. Although he struggled on Sunday, his second round of 65 showed he can still compete.
“It feels good to be back out here playing again, competing and trying to beat the best players in the world,” Woods said. “I missed it. I love it.”
3 – This wasn’t a bad tournament to come last in. Emiliano Grillo of Argentina finished in 17th place of the 18 starters (Justin Rose withdrew after one round,) and was 19 shots back of Matsuyama. Still, the young South American picked up $105,000 simply for completing the four rounds. Nice work if you can get it.
Hero World Challenge
Albany, New Providence, The Bahamas
Purse $3,500,000, par 72
1 Hideki Matsuyama (Jap) 65 67 65 73 270 $1,000,000
2 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 67 71 66 68 272 $400,000
T3 Rickie Fowler (USA) 68 70 68 69 275 $191,667
T3 Dustin Johnson (USA) 66 66 72 71 275 $191,667
T3 Matt Kuchar (USA) 67 67 71 70 275 $191,667
T6 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 72 64 69 72 277 $140,000
T6 Jordan Spieth (USA) 68 69 70 70 277 $140,000
T6 Bubba Watson (USA) 72 63 75 67 277 $140,000
9 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67 67 73 72 279 $125,000
10 Patrick Reed (USA) 72 69 71 68 280 $120,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage