Masterful Matsuyama storms to maiden WGC title

Matsuyama is set to climb to sixth in the world rankings, with a maiden major title surely a realistic target for 2017.

HidekiMATSUYAMA-cropped

This success for Hideki Matsuyama follows victory in the Japan Open and a second-placed finish at the CIMB Classic in his previous two starts.

Hideki Matsuyama became the first Asian winner of a World Golf Championships event with a stunning seven-shot triumph at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

World No. 10 Matsuyama had led by three strokes after the second and third rounds at Sheshan International Golf Club, but was not content to simply sit on that advantage on Sunday.

A second successive bogey-free round, this one a 66 featuring three birdies on each nine, saw Matsuyama reach 23 under and end the week as a dominant victor.

Henrik Stenson carded the joint-best final-round score, a seven-under 65, to claim a share of second with Daniel Berger on 16 under.

As a result of his impressive display, Stenson takes over from Danny Willett at the top of the Race to Dubai standings.

FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy, who is also chasing Race to Dubai glory, shared fourth with Bill Haas after a closing 66, but defending champion Russell Knox faded badly, a 74 dropping him from second to ninth.

As Knox fell away, playing partner Matsuyama simply offered a continuation of the fine form he had displayed throughout the week.

This success for the Japanese follows victory in the Japan Open and a second-placed finish at the CIMB Classic in his previous two starts.

As a result, Matsuyama is set to climb to sixth in the world rankings, with a maiden major title surely a realistic target for 2017.