Hideki Matsuyama: who is the Japanese golfer that won the Masters 2021 - and who is his caddie?

Matsuyama topped the Augusta leaderboard ahead of Will Zalatoris in second and Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth in tied third

Hideki Matsuyama wrote a new chapter in golf’s history books by becoming the first Japanese man to win the Masters.

The Augusta tournament is well known for its dramatic super Sundays and didn’t disappoint in 2021 as the 29-year-old edged a one-shot victory to claim the green jacket.

Sign up to our World of Sport newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A round of 65 on Saturday (10 April) saw Matsuyama establish a four-shot lead going into the final day’s play on the 72-par course, holding his nerve with a +1 round four.

Hideki Matsuyama wrote a new chapter in golf’s history books by becoming the first Japanese man to win the Masters. (Pic: Getty Images)

It was enough to cement his place at the top of the leaderboard (-10), with Americans Will Zalatoris (-9) in second and Xander Schauffele tied third with Jordan Spieth (-7).

It was Matsuyama’s first major but there have been many other successes in his career to date.

Read More

Read More
Inspirational Hideki Matsuyama celebrates at Masters knowing another major chall...

Here’s all you need to know about 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama.

Golfer Hideki Matsuyama and caddie Shota Hayafuji celebrate Masters 2021 victory. (Pic: Getty Images)

Who is Hideki Matsuyama?

Born on 25 February 1992 on the Japanese island of Shikoku, Matsuyama was first introduced to golf at the age of four by his father.

Matsuyama was a prominent figure on the amateur circuit and made his Augusta debut in 2011 as an amateur after winning the 2010 Asian Amateur Championship.

He shone and was awarded the Silver Cup - the award presented to the lowest scoring amateur at the Masters - and was the only amateur player to make the cut that year.

Gold followed at the World University Games in 2011, the same year he defended his Asian Amateur Championship, before he reached the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking in 2012.

He turned pro in 2013.

How many pro tournaments has Hideki Matsuyama won?

The Masters 2021 was his first major success but his first professional win came while he was still an amateur in November 2011 when he won the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters.

It was the first of eight Japan Golf Tour wins to his name so far, following it up with four wins in 2013, one more in 2014 and two in 2016, including the Japan Open Golf Championship.

Matsuyama won his first PGA Tour in 2014 - the Memorial Tournament - before 2016 successes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the WGC-HSBC Champions.

He went on to win the same Phoenix Open in 2017 in the same year he claimed the honours at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, before registering his first major championship at Augusta.

Who is Hideki Matsuyama’s caddie?

As the world watched Matsuyama bask in the glory of having won the Masters, his caddie Shota Hayafuji paid his own respects to the Augusta course by bowing to the fairway.

Matsuyama said afterwards: “When the final putt went in, I really wasn't thinking of anything.

“When I saw my caddie, Shota, and hugged him - I was happy for him because this is his first victory on the bag. And then it started sinking in - the joy of being a Masters champion.”

How much Masters prize money did Hideki Matsuyama win?

The 2021 Masters purse was $11.5m (£8.35m), with the prize money spread between its competitors on a scale from the winner down to those who didn’t make the cut.

Matsuyama earned $2.1m (£1.5m) for his Masters win, with second-placed Zalatoris bagging just over $1.2m (£870k) and tied third Schauffele and Spieth taking home $667k (£485k) each.

According to ESPN, Matsuyama’s career earnings stood at $31,220,951 (£22,672,755) before the Masters success, which ranked him 37th among the active golfers.

What is Hideki Matsuyama’s world golf ranking?

Matsuyama is positioned 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

He has been placed much higher in the past, reaching as high as No.2 in the world in 2017 after a second-placed finish at the US Open.

Who is Hideki Matsuyama away from golf?

Matsuyama married wife Mei in January 2017. The couple have a daughter Kanna.