Akron, Ohio – Hideki Matsuyama fired a final round 9 under par – 61 winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in grand style. The 25 year old from Japan started hot on Sunday and never let up, his clean card included an eagle at the par 5 – 2nd, then birdies at the 3rd, 4th, 9th, 13th, 16th, 17th and 18th. Matsuyama began the day two strokes back, but won going away with a decisive 5 shot margin – finishing at 16 under par.
Hideki’s 61 tied the course record held by Jose Maria Olazabal (1999) and Tiger Woods (who did it twice – first back in 2000 when the event was still the World Series of Golf and then in 2013). Sergio Garcia was the last to do it in 2014. The victory was Matsuyama’s second WGC victory (he won the HSBC Champions last fall in Shanghai, China). With the win,Hideki Matsuyama takes over the lead in the Fedex Cup standings and looks to be one of the favorites going into the PGA Championship this week at Quail Hollow.
In response to persistent expectations and pressure from a nation that is desperate to have their first major champion, Matsuyama is well aware of Japan’s hunger: “I hope their expectations aren’t too high,” Matsuyama said. “But my expectations really at the beginning of this week weren’t that high either, and here we are.”
Dustin Johnson and Matsuyama have now combined to win the last five WGC events.
54 hole leader Zach Johnson shot 68 to finish solo second at -11.