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Hideki Matsuyama wins The Masters despite late wobble

Matsuyama held on after knocking one in the water at the 15th, shooting a 1-over 73 to win the Masters by one stroke and making history as the first male golfer from Japan to win a major championship.

Zalatoris holed from 25 feet for birdie on the first and also got up and down from a greenside bunker to birdie the par-five second as Matsuyama pushed his tee shot into the trees on the opening hole.

After punching out on to the fairway and hitting a poor pitch, Matsuyama narrowly failed to save par from long range, but bounced back immediately to birdie the second.

With Zalatoris making a bogey on the third the lead was quickly back to three, but Zalatoris then birdied the eighth just moments before Matsuyama missed from three feet for birdie on the seventh.

However, Matsuyama also birdied the eighth to head towards the back nine with a three-shot lead and Zalatoris, who was bidding to become the first player to win the Masters on their debut since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, seemingly his only rival.

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A superb approach to the ninth set up a tap-in birdie for Matsuyama, increasing his lead to five. That was the same lead defending champion Spieth had in 2016 before collapsing on the back nine, but Matsuyama’s task was made easier still when nearest challenger Zalatoris bogeyed the 12th.

Schauffele recorded his third straight birdie on the 14th to close the gap and was given renewed hope when Matsuyama fired his approach to the next over the green and into the water.

The resulting bogey dropped Matsuyama back to 12 under and Schauffele’s birdie from a greenside bunker left him two behind with three to play.


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