Matsuyama missed The Players and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this month due to injury; The world number 12 steps up his preparation ahead of his Masters title defense, live in April on Sky Sports
Last update: 22/03/22 20:35
Nick Dougherty, Paul McGinley and Andrew Coltart look back on the best of the action from the final round of the 85th Masters at Augusta National.
Hideki Matsuyama is confident he can shrug off his lingering injury problems in time to defend his Masters title in April, live on Sky Sports.
Matsuyama became the first Japanese men’s player to win a major title last year with a one-stroke victory over Will Zalatoris, the 30-year-old after his Augusta success by winning the Zozo Championship later that year at residence.
The world No. 12 started 2022 in super form with a victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii and a top 10 finish at the WM Phoenix Open, although he hasn’t featured since a tied 20th place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier. this month.
Relive that moment when Hideki Matsuyama won his first major at Augusta National.
Matsuyama withdrew from the Players Championship with a lingering back injury and also opted out of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, although he hopes to play the Valero Texas Open next week before heading to the first men’s major of the year.
“I received a lot of care, I prepared myself,” Matsuyama said through his interpreter during a conference call organized by Masters officials.
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“Yesterday (Monday) was the first day that I was able to have a good training session and so the rest of this week, next week, I will do my best to prepare well so that I can defend my title at Augusta.
“I haven’t been able to train as much as I would like, but what I’ve done, I feel like I’m on the right track. Hopefully I can get back to the same form I started with the year.
Hideki Matsuyama hopes he can be a trailblazer for other Japanese golfers after winning his first major at Augusta National.
“Going to the Masters is something very special for me and something I was really looking forward to, so I’m going to do my best to be as prepared as possible to defend my title there.”
Matsuyama said he was still putting the finishing touches on his menu for the traditional Champions Dinner in Augusta and admitted he was nervous about giving a speech that night due to his limited English.
“Of course, I can’t wait to come back to Augusta National as the defending champion,” Matsuyama said. “There are expectations of myself, whether it’s pressure or not.
“But I’m looking forward to it and at the same time I’m trying to prepare as best I can. The same with the champions dinner. I don’t speak English very well and so it’s a sort of double-sided coin.
“I’m looking forward to it, of course, to being with all these great former Masters champions but, at the same time also, very nervous about the speech I’m going to give.”
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