Matsuyama wanted a photo with Tiger Woods


Matsuyama wanted a photo with Tiger Woods
© Getty Images Sport - Harry How / Staff

Hideki Matsuyama celebrated his next 32 years in style with a stunning victory at the Genesis Invitational, taking home a check for four million dollars after a spectacular comeback in Los Angeles. Despite the success, he expressed regret for not taking a photo with Tiger Woods, a missed opportunity after lifting the trophy.

Hideki Matsuyama, results

The tournament in Pacific Palisades was anything but normal. In addition to the long-awaited return of Tiger Woods after a year of forced absence, who also presented the new Sun Day Red clothing line for which he is the testimonial, there were several noteworthy events.

Woods unfortunately had to withdraw on Friday due to a bout of flu, while Jordan Spieth suffered his first career disqualification for signing a scorecard with the wrong score. Matsuyama's victory was a real spectacle, with an incredible run of 62 shots (-9) on the final day out of a total of 267 (-17).

This allowed him to overtake Patrick Cantlay, who had been leading for much of the tournament. Will Zalatoris and Luke List took second place with 270 (-14), followed by Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele in fourth place with 271 (-13), along with Canadian Adam Hadwin.

This was Matsuyama's ninth title on the PGA Tour and first since January 2022. Matsuyama, the first Japanese to win the Genesis Invitational, has now risen to 20th in the world rankings, after being 55th. The PGA Tour will now move to Mexico for the Mexico Open in Vallarta, from February 22 to 25, with Francesco Molinari also participating.

Born in the city of Matsuyama, Hideki Matsuyama began playing golf at the age of four under the guidance of his father. He completed his education at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai, winning the 2010 and 2011 editions of the Asian Amateur Golf Championships.

This achievement earned him a spot in the 2011 Masters, where he became the first Japanese amateur to do so. He won the Silver Cup at the Masters and was the only amateur golfer in the field. The following week, he finished third at the Japan Open Golf Championship, part of the Japan Golf Tour.

In 2011, he represented Japan at the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, where he won gold in both the individual and team events, alongside Fujimoto, Kobukuro, and Tomimura. After defending his title at the Asian Amateur Championships, he won the Taiheiyo Masters, another event on the Japan Golf Tour, in November. His amateur success led to him reaching the number one position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in August 2012.

Tiger Woods Hideki Matsuyama