Matsuyama wins Hero World Challenge

Japanese Hideki Matsuyama clinched the 2016 Hero World Challenge Golf title in Bahamas. The 24-year-old Matsuyuma finished at 18 under after a 73 on the final day.

hideki matsuyuma

Hideki Matsuyuma (right) of Japan won the tournament hosted by Tiger Woods (left) with a total of 270.   -  Getty Images

Hideki Matsuyama’s superb streak continued as he claimed the Hero World Challenge, but not before some anxious moments, at the Albany Golf Course here on Sunday. It was the fourth win for the cherubic Japanese in five starts at stroke-play events.

The 24-year-old, who started the final day seven strokes ahead of playing partner Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson, carded a 73 and was run close by the former till the last hole before winning by two shots with a total of 270 for the event.

The win brought Matsuyama $1 million prize money, while the Swede, who shot his fourth straight sub-par score (68), settled for $400,000.

Matsuyama was presented the rolling trophy by Hero MotoCorp CMD Pawan Munjal, with the Challenge host Tiger Woods in attendance, in front of a goodly Sunday crowd.

"I can’t say that I played well today, but I did win Tiger’s tournament. And what a great honour that is," remarked the star of the day in a humble and candid manner.

The World No. 6 refused to be tagged as Japan’s greatest, praised fellow PGA Tour players and made it clear that he would be targeting his first Major in right earnest.

"Starting next week all my focus and preparation will be for the Masters. Hopefully, along the way I can play well on the PGA Tour, but the Masters is my next goal."

Meanwhile, a disappointing 76, laced with three bogeys and double bogeys, dragged Tiger Woods down the leader board. The five-time champion capped off his first full competitive tournament in nearly 16 months with a 284 that was good enough only for a 15th spot.

But Woods was more than satisfied with his show here.

"I think it was a great week to be back playing again, competing and playing against some of the best players in the world. Unfortunately, I made a lot of mistakes this week. A lot of birdies, but also made a lot of mistakes," remarked the crowd favourite who had more birdies than the champion over the 72 holes.

When asked about Matsuyama, Woods was all praise. "Look at his swing, look at his game and look at the body that he has, it’s built for a workload and it’s built to handle the test of time.

"He’s going to be one of the players that we’re going to have to beat for a long time."

The inference by fans and players after four days of classy play at this beautiful island course was that the Big Cat is back in the mix and ready to hunt in the season to come!

Finals scores (USA unless mentioned): 270: Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn, 65-67-65-73); 272: Henrik Stenson (Swe, 67-61-66-68); 275: Matt Kuchar (67-67-71-70), Rickie Fowler (68-70-68-69), Dustin Johnson (66-66-72-71); 277: Bubba Watson (72-63-75-67), Jordan Spieth (68-69-70-70), Brandt Snedeker (72-64-69-72); 279: Louis Oosthuizen (RSA, 67-67-73-72); 280: Patrick Reed (72-69-71-78); 281: J.B. Holmes (64-73-70-74); 282: : Zach Johnson (72-69-70-71); 283: Brooks Koepka (72-68-72-71), Jimmy Walker (70-74-66-73); 284: Tiger Woods (73-65-70-76); 286: Russell Knox (Sco, 69-72-71-74); 289: Emiliano Grillo (Arg, 70-72-75-72).