Matsuyama adds another at Fujisankei
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2013 Fujisankei Classic | Wrap | 08 Sep 2013
It has been nearly two months since Hideki Matsuyama played his previous event on the Japan Golf Tour but today he reminded everyone what they have been missing when he won his third event in just nine starts in his rookie season on that Tour with a playoff victory over Hideto Tanihara and Sung Joon Park at the Fujisankei Classic.
Matsuyama, who leading into the week had moved to number 29 in the world and secured his place in the International Presidents Cup side, took a four shot lead over the field into today’s fourth and final round and appeared well placed before a double bogey at his 16th hole and a bogey at the last would result in a playoff.
The win should move Matsuyama one place higher to 28th on the world ranking and has now earned twice the earnings of the second placed player on the Japan Golf Tour. Matsuyama has Japan Golf Tour earnings in 2013 of ￥106,731,000, (A$1.2 million) not to mention another A$500,000 or so outside of Japan. It was his 4th Japan Tour title having also won the Visa Taiheiyo tournament as an amateur.
Korean, Park, who played much of his golf growing up in New Zealand, won his first Japan Golf Tour event last week in Fukuoka and so nearly added another when he raced to the turn in 31 today to join Matsuyama in the lead. Two early bogeys in his back nine essentially cost him the chance to win. He maintains his number two position on the money list.
Among the two players who finished one from the playoff and in a share of 4th was Korean Hyung Joon Lee who when he quadruple bogeyed his 4th hole appeared to have eliminated any chance of contending. Six birdies later however Lee birdied the final hole to so nearly join those in extra time. 40 year old Shingo Katayama was the other to finish just one behind.
Brendan Jones was the leading Australasian when he finished with a round of 67 to be in 17th position. Jones bogeyed his opening two holes but recorded seven birdies to move from his overnight 39th to 17th.
Michael Hendry and David Smail finished tied for 20th while Ryan Haller and Steve Conran also made the cut but finished well back.
The Japan Golf Tour has a week off before the ANA tournament in Hokkaido in eleven days time.