Hideki Matsuyama takes control of the 2021 Masters

April 11, 2021

Hideki Matsuyama takes control of the 2021 Masters

We have a new leader after the third round of the 2021 Masters, and Hideki Matsuyama of Matsuyama, Japan now has some breathing room heading into the final 18 holes on Sunday. On Saturday, Matsuyama had a back nine to remember as he went six-under-par, and in the process is now -11.

Matsuyama birdied the 11th, 12th, 16th, and 17th holes, as well as eagled the 15th hole. At the time of the eagle, Matsuyama was part of a trifecta of brilliant shots in a span of approximately 90 seconds. He was joined by Xander Schauffele, who had an eagle of his own, and Justin Rose, who made a long birdie putt.

It is interesting that the back nine has played quite a bit easier at times than the front nine at the 2021 Masters. Don’t forget that Rose went +2 on the front nine and then -9 on the back nine over the first 36 holes. So far, Matsuyama has gone -4 on the front nine, and -7 on the back nine.

Matsuyama is trying to become the first Japanese man to ever win a golf major. Two Japanese women have accomplished the feat. Chako Higuchi of Kawagoe, Japan won the 1977 LPGA Championship in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Then in 2019, Hinako Shibuno won the 2019 Women’s British Open from Milton Keynes, England.

Matsuyama’s lead at this time is four strokes over Americans Will Zalatoris and Schauffele, Australia’s Marc Leishman, and Rose. One needs to remember that Rose had a four-stroke lead after round one, and now he is down by four.

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