Hideki Matsuyama wins at Riviera with 62. He becomes Asia’s most prolific PGA Tour winner


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hideki Matsuyama set the Riviera record for the lowest closing round by a winner Sunday in the Genesis Invitational, giving the Japanese star another record that means far more to him.

Matsuyama rallied from a six-shot deficit with a 9-under 62, punctuated by consecutive shots inside a foot of the hole, to win for the ninth time in his career on the PGA Tour. That breaks the record for Asian-born players he shared with K.J. Choi of South Korea.

It was Matsuyama’s first victory since his playoff win at the Sony Open two years ago, after which Shigeki Maruyama sent him a text to remind him of a conversation they once had about becoming the most prolific PGA Tour winner of Asian players.

This one looked unlikely at the start of a final round in which Patrick Cantlay had a two-shot lead and looked to be in total control of his game. But it was a struggle from the start for Cantlay, who couldn’t find fairways or greens or make many putts that mattered.

Cantlay played with his best friend on tour, Xander Schauffele, who struggled just as much. Luke List set the early pace. Will Zalatoris took the lead in the middle of the back nine. There was a five-way tie for the lead at one point on the back nine.

And then Matsuyama seized control with sheer brilliance. His approach to the tough 15th carried the bunker and rolled out to 8 inches. On the par-3 16th, he let the club dangle as he followed the flight, unsure where it would go until he heard the crowd cheer for a shot that rolled to within 6 inches.

He got up-and-down for a third straight birdie on the par-5 17th to stretch his lead to three shots, and by then, no one could catch him.

Matsuyama’s final act was a sharp-breaking 4-footer for par on the final hole, and he clinched his fist — a rare show of emotion by the Japanese star — when it dropped. His 62 broke, by one, the Riviera record for best closing round by a winner set by Doug Tewell in 1986.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

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