“I hope I can follow her in her shoes and make Japan proud.” Tsubasa Kajitani won the Augusta 2021 Women’s National Amateur Championship last weekend, and today, Hideki Matsuyama has a chance to turn it into a quick Japanese double by winning the Masters. History calls.
However, we should probably qualify that statement: Hideki Matsuyama has a hell of a possibility of winning the Masters. The 29-year-old from the island of Shikoku enters the final round with a four-shot lead over his closest rivals, having returned from yesterday afternoon’s weather delay to take just 25 shots in his last seven and half. holes, a race that included a pair of three putts on the 13th! It’s fair to say that he tapped on the shape line, located, he says, as he relaxed during the break and fiddled with his phone.
Four-shot 54-hole cables have been shipped before, of course. Ken Venturi in 1956, for example, or Rory McIlroy in 2011. Greg Norman managed to shake off a six-shot lead in 1996, for God’s sake. So can any of the pursuers channel their inner Jack Burke, their dormant Charl Schwartzel, their Nick Faldo on the prowl? There is enough quality in the chasing group in case Matsuyama stumbles, and things can get absurdly fast at Augusta National, history has told us. Also, the Tournament doesn’t technically start until the last group reaches the bottom nine later this afternoon, so there’s that too.
However, if Matsuyama stands his ground and shackles something like yesterday afternoon, this will quickly become child’s play. One way or another, we are about to witness something special. A day of great drama, or the coronation of a special player who has long been a great waiting champion, having been so close so often. Good luck to you all. Its on!
This is how the leaders position themselves after 54 holes …
-7: Schauffele, Leishman, Rose, Zalatoris
-2: MacIntyre, Kim, Wiesberger
… and this is when everyone starts playing. Add five hours of BST fun!
10:00 Jim Herman (United States), Adam Scott (Aus)
10:10 José María Olazabal (Spa), Brendon Todd (United States)
10:20 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Gary Woodland (United States)
10:30 Paul Casey (English), Billy Horschel (United States)
10:40 Abraham Ancer (Mexico), Michael Thompson (United States)
10:50 Tyrrell Hatton (English), Ian Poulter (English)
11:00 Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Harris English (USA)
11:10 Jason Kokrak (USA), Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa)
11:20 Cameron Champ (United States), Sebastián Muñoz (Col)
11:40 Matt Jones (Aus), Collin Morikawa (United States)
11:50 Matthew Fitzpatrick (English), Tommy Fleetwood (English)
12:00 Martin Laird (Sco), Bubba Watson (United States)
12:10 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Matt Wallace (English)
12:20 Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Shane Lowry (Irl)
12:30 Jon Rahm (Spa), Scottie Scheffler (United States)
12:40 Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Webb Simpson (United States)
12:50 Phil Mickelson (United States), Francesco Molinari (Ita)
13:00 Cameron Smith (Aus), Justin Thomas (United States)
13:20 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Ryan Palmer (United States)
13:30 Stewart Cink (United States), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
13:40 Kevin Na (United States), Patrick Reed (United States)
13:50 Si Woo Kim (Kor), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)
14:00 Tony Finau (United States), Robert MacIntyre (Sco)
14:10 Brian Harman (United States), Jordan Spieth (United States)
14:20 Corey Conners (Can), Will Zalatoris (United States)
14:30 Marc Leishman (Aus), Justin Rose (Ing)
14:40 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Xander Schauffele (United States)
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism