Matsuyama defeats Na in playoff at the Memorial|
Dublin, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Hideki Matsuyama parred the first playoff
hole on Sunday to defeat Kevin Na and claim the title at the Memorial
Matsuyama, who earned his first career win on the PGA Tour, carded a 3-under
69 during his final round at Muirfield Village Golf Club to finish the
tournament at 13-under-par 275. Na fired an 8-under 64 to meet him there.
Third-round leader Bubba Watson managed an even-par 72 during his final round
to fall into third place at 12-under 276, while Adam Scott (71) and Chris Kirk
(68) shared fourth at minus-10.
Steve Stricker (68) and Ben Curtis (70) tied for sixth at 9-under. Thorbjorn
Olesen (68), Bill Haas (68), Luke Guthrie (70), Brendan Todd (72) and Charl
Schwartzel (72) shared eighth place at 8-under 280.
Matsuyama and Na returned to the 18th hole for the playoff and both found
trouble off the tee.
Matsuyama, who was playing without a driver in his bag after the shaft broke
in half following his tee shot his first time at the 18th hole, found a bunker
and Na pulled his into the creek to the left of the fairway.
Neither could find the green with their next shot and both then hit to about
10 feet from the hole.
Matsuyama was the first to take his putt and converted his par effort to
clinch his maiden win on tour.
"I'm just happy. Really, really happy," Matsuyama said in a televised
interview through an interpreter. "It's a dream come true to win here at Mr.
Nicklaus' golf course. It couldn't be better."
Watson entered the day with a 1-stroke lead and maintained that advantage
after a birdie at the first as Matsuyama followed a birdie at the first by
holing out from a bunker at the second for another birdie to move to 13-under.
Watson then stuck his tee shot at the par-3 fourth to seven feet and converted
that birdie to grab a 2-stroke lead.
Na, meanwhile, opened his bogey-free round with a 3-foot birdie at the first
before rolling in four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the fifth to make
the turn at 10-under.
He stayed hot with a 2-putt birdie at the 11th and converted back-to-back
birdies from inside 10 feet at Nos. 14 and 15 to reach 13-under and pull
within a shot of Watson.
Na parred his final three holes to claim the clubhouse lead and watched as the
remaining players on the course limped towards the finish.
Matsuyama would join Na at 13-under with a short birdie at the seventh before
he rolled in a 20-foot birdie at the eighth to meet Watson atop the
Watson handed Matsuyama the outright lead with a bogey at the ninth, but
atoned for his gaffe with consecutive birdies at the 10th and 11th to reclaim
the outright lead at 15-under.
Scott had briefly met Matsuyama and Watson at 14-under before finding the
water at the par-3 12th en route to a double-bogey.
Matsuyama again claimed a share of the lead with a birdie at the 13th and
after he and Watson both bogeyed the 14th to remain tied, Matsuyama converted
a 3-foot birdie putt at the 15th to gain sole possession of first place at 15-
It looked as if he would roll to the victory when Watson's errant drive at the
15th sailed well out of bounds and resulted in a double-bogey to drop him to
12-under, but Matsuyama then found the water at the 16th and posted a double-
bogey himself to drop into a tie with Na.
Matsuyama handed Na the outright lead with a bogey at the 17th, but stuck his
approach at the last to five feet and converted that birdie effort to force
Watson parred his final three holes to finish a shot off the pace.
NOTES: This was the first playoff at this event since 1992 ... Watson recorded
his seventh top-10 finish of the season, tying his career high set in 2012 ...
Matsuyama birdied the 18th hole in all four of his rounds. He is the first
player to accomplish that feat ... Jason Allred earned Special Temporary
Member status on the PGA Tour with his share of 15th place.
06/01 20:37:57 ET