Fri. May 27th, 2022


Matsuyama missed The Players and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this month through injury; World No 12 stepping up his preparation ahead of his title defence at The Masters, live this April on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 22/03/22 8:35pm

Nick Dougherty, Paul McGinley and Andrew Coltart look back at the best of the action from the final round of the 85th Masters at Augusta National.

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Nick Dougherty, Paul McGinley and Andrew Coltart look back at the best of the action from the final round of the 85th Masters at Augusta National.

Nick Dougherty, Paul McGinley and Andrew Coltart look back at the best of the action from the final round of the 85th Masters at Augusta National.

Hideki Matsuyama is confident of shrugging off his lingering injury problems in time to defend his title at The Masters this April, live on Sky Sports.

Matsuyama became the first male Japanese player to win a major title last year with a one-shot victory over Will Zalatoris, with the 30-year-old following his Augusta success by winning the Zozo Championship later that year on home soil.

The world No 12 began 2022 in super form with a win at the Sony Open in Hawaii and a top-10 finish at the WM Phoenix Open, although has not featured since a tied-20th finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this month.

Relive that moment when Hideki Matsuyama won his first major at Augusta National.

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Relive that moment when Hideki Matsuyama won his first major at Augusta National.

Relive that moment when Hideki Matsuyama won his first major at Augusta National.

Matsuyama withdrew from the Players Championship with a lingering back injury and also elected against playing the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, although hopes to be able to contest next week’s Valero Texas Open before heading to the opening men’s major of the year.

“I’ve been receiving a lot of treatment, getting prepared,” Matsuyama said through his interpreter during a conference call organised by Masters officials.

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“Yesterday (Monday) was the first day that I’ve been able to have a good practice session and so the remainder of this week, next week I’ll do my best to prepare well so I can defend my title at Augusta.

“I haven’t been able to practice as much as I’d like but what I have been doing I feel like I’m on the right track. Hopefully I can find the same form that I started the year with.

Hideki Matsuyama hopes he can be a pioneer for other Japanese golfers after winning his first major at Augusta National.

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Hideki Matsuyama hopes he can be a pioneer for other Japanese golfers after winning his first major at Augusta National.

Hideki Matsuyama hopes he can be a pioneer for other Japanese golfers after winning his first major at Augusta National.

“Going to the Masters is something very special for me and something I’ve really been looking forward to so I’m going to do my very best to be as prepared as I can to defend my title there.”

Matsuyama said he was still putting the finishing touches to his menu for the traditional Champions Dinner at Augusta and admitted he was nervous about making a speech that evening due to his limited English.

Hideki Matsuyama is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour

Hideki Matsuyama is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour

“Of course, I’m looking forward to returning to Augusta National as the defending champion,” said Matsuyama. “There are some expectations from myself, whether it’s pressure or not.

“But looking forward to (it) and also at the same time trying to prepare the best I can. The same with the Champions Dinner. I don’t speak English very well and so it’s kind of a two-sided coin.

“I’m looking forward to it, of course, to be with all those great past Masters champions but, at the same time too, very nervous about the speech I will be giving.”

Watch The Masters this April live on Sky Sports. Live coverage from April 4-10 will be exclusively live on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel – Sky Sports The Masters!





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