Matsuyama Brilliance Wins Sony Open

Matsuyama Brilliance Wins Sony Open


Sony Open

Matsuyama Brilliance Wins Sony Open

Hideki Matsuyama won the Sony Open in Hawaii after producing the shot of the tournament into the final green during the playoff. The 29-year-old star from Japan flushed his 3-wood approach from 280 yards to inside 3 feet of the hole at the par 5, 18th hole. Minutes later he brushed in the putt for an eagle to score victory over America’s Russell Henley at the first extra hole.

Matsuyama, who is Japan’s greatest golfing export, now owns eight PGA Tour titles—which ties him for the most wins by an Asian-born player with KJ Choi. The 2021 Masters champion claimed his third PGA Tour title in his last 18 starts in dramatic style coming back from a five-shot deficit at the turn. Chasing his playing partner Henley, Matsuyama returned four unanswered birdies on the inward nine to force the playoff. His stunning bogey-free 7-under 63 was the equal low round on Sunday. Matsuyama produced rounds of 66, 65, 63 and 63 at Waialae Country Club, Honolulu to reach 23-under. It was his fourth playoff win from five attempts on the PGA Tour. And, it was the first time Matsuyama finished inside the top 10 at the event from eight appearances.

Henley, aged 32, missed the chance to win the event in regulation play after he grazed the lip with his birdie putt from 10 feet at the 72nd hole. Henley started the day with a two-shot advantage and was looking to become the sixth multiple winner of this event. The world No. 56 won his maiden PGA Tour title at the 2013 Sony Open in his debut PGA Tour start as a professional golfer. Henley covered the front nine in 6-under 29 to extend his lead to five shots over Matsuyama. The incredible outward nine included a birdie at the second hole and a birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle run from hole 6 to 9. He is now 1 win from 6 attempts when holding the 54-hole lead—his only triumph was at this event in 2013.

America’s Kevin Kisner and Ireland’s Seamus Power took a share of third place at 19-under. Kisner, aged 37, was chasing his fifth PGA Tour title. He fired a final round 6-under 64. Power is one of the biggest improvers on the PGA Tour moving up from world No. 436 to world No. 63 during the past 12 months. The 34-year-old carded a final round 5-under 65. Power was searching for his second PGA Tour title after winning his maiden event at the 2021 Barbasol Championship.

Defending champion Kevin Na was hoping to become the first back-to-back winner at the Sony Open since Jimmy Walker 2014/15. Na opened the event with a stunning 9-under 61 to lead the field by one shot after 18 holes. He ended the week at 13-under and in a tie for 20th place. 

Cam Davis was the best-placed Australian. The 26-year-old from Sydney finished in a tie for 27th. Marc Leishman (T36) and Brett Drewitt (T55) also made the cut. Cameron Percy, Matt Jones and last week’s winner Cameron Smith failed to qualify for the weekend.

The PGA Tour moves to California for The American Express staged at Pete Dye Stadium Course, La Quinta. Korea’s Si Woo Kim is the defending champion.

Final Scores 
Sony Open

1. Hideki Matsuyama -23 
2. Russell Henley -23
T3. Kevin Kisner -19
T3. Seamus Power -19
T5. Michael Thompson -18
T5. Lucas Glover -18
T7. Keith Mitchell -17
T7. Russell Knox -17
T7. Adam Svennson -17
T7. Matt Kuchar -17

T27. Cam Davis -12
T36. Marc Leishman -11
T55. Brett Drewitt -7
MC. Cameron Percy
MC. Matt Jones
MC. Cameron Smith

Photo credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

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