Matsuyama’s win at the HSBC Champions was a defining moment in his young, ascendant career. It was a tremendous victory over a field that was stacked with the best players in the world. Matsuyama opened the tournament with a 66 and never slowed. He finished with rounds of 65-68-66 to finish at 17-under. He completed the final 45 holes without a bogey and won by seven shots over Henrik Stenson and Daniel Berger, the third-widest margin of victory in a WGC event.
“Hideki played just unbelievable, and it was a pleasure to watch,” Berger said. “He struck it well. He putted well. He chipped it well. He did everything well, and that’s why he won by so many.”
In fact, barring an unprecedented collapse in the last round, the only drama on the final day was whether Matsuyama would wind up with 30 birdies for the week. A bold approach shot on the 72nd hole wound up in the water and Matsuyama had to settle for 29.
With his tank of confidence at full capacity, Matsuyama continued to build on his HSBC Champions’ victory. He won again at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February -successfully defending his title - and again at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in July. Only Justin Thomas (four) won more times during the 2016-17 regular season.
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