2021 Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama Answers if He’s the Greatest Japanese Golfer Ever

Published 04/12/2021, 5:35 AM EDT
Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 11, 2021 Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama celebrates with his green jacket after winning The Masters REUTERS/Brian Snyder


Hideki Matsuyama is a history-maker. The 29-year-old Japanese enjoyed the euphoric feeling of winning the 2021 Masters at Augusta. Matsuyama is now the first Japanese player to win a men’s major, but does that make him the greatest golfer to ever come out of the Asian country? 

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Japan is not a country that is scarce with talented golfers. In fact, there are a lot of legends who’ve hailed from the Asian country and found success on the PGA Tour. Hideki Matsuyama is one such player in that regard, but he’s the first Japanese to ever win a men’s major. 

Is Hideki Matsuyama the greatest golfer to come out of Japan?

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This is a thought that would be ringing in everyone’s mind at the moment. No other Japanese player has managed to win a men’s major in the past. This distinction alone sets Matsuyama a class apart from the rest. 

However, it is also important to seek the opinion of Matsuyama as well. So a reporter boldly placed this question in front of the 2021 Masters champion during his customary press conference. Matsuyama wasn’t given the liberty to dodge the question and was made to deliver an answer! 

“You know, I can’t say I’m the greatest. However, I’m the first to win a major, and if that’s the bar, then I’ve set it,” Matsuyama replied. 

One can interpret this response in different ways. There’s no doubt that Hideki Matsuyama is still humble after winning the 2021 Masters. However, one can’t say that ‘the greatest Japanese golfer’ thought wouldn’t have crossed his mind. 

Is this the criteria? There are several golfers who have won more than 20 titles on the Japan Golf Tour. While Matsuyama is yet to touch that number, his Masters title will speak for everything. 

Read Also: Meet Bob Turner: The Interpreter of Hideki Matsuyama Who Has Also Worked with Tiger Woods

Matsuyama wants to inspire the next generation of golfers in Japan

Hideki Matsuyama’s victory at the 2021 Masters is a powerful one. Besides creating history with his win, the Japanese golfer has also sent out a message to the young aspiring golfers in his country. 

For so many years, there was never a Japanese player who could win a major. Many felt it that could never be broken, and that’s when Matsuyama stepped in and broke the myth. Likewise, he wants young Japanese golfers to follow in his footsteps. 

Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 11, 2021 Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama celebrates with the green jacket and the trophy after winning The Masters REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“It’s thrilling to think that there are a lot of youngsters in Japan watching today. Hopefully, in five, ten years, when they get a little older, hopefully some of them will be competing on the world stage,” Matsuyama mentioned. 

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The 29-year-old did add a hilarious take to his statement. Matsuyama mentioned he’ll be playing long enough to meet his country’s next generation of golfers on the global stage and pose a challenge to them.

Is Hideki Matsuyama Japan’s greatest golfer? Let us know in the comments! 

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Arjun Athreya

1835 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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