Monday, February 6

Hideki Matsuyama: 'There's Nothing Like It in Golf'

IF YOU HAVE BEEN PAYING attention to the PGA Tour at all during the fall and winter months, then you know that Hideki Matsuyama is making a big move on tour and in the world rankings.

Matsuyama, from Japan, made more noise yesterday with a playoff win over Webb Simpson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. That makes two in a row. Last year he outlasted Rickie Fowler. As USA Today reported, it was Matsuyama's fourth PGA Tour victory and fifth worldwide title in the last few months.

He closed with a 67 and 17-under par total.

"There's nothing like it in golf," Matsuyama said about the rowdy atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale. "Playing in front of the number of fans and gallery this past week, great motivation. I just try to have fun with it, and at the same time, keep my focus."

The tournament set an attendance record of 655,434 fans for the week.

Matsuyama moved up one spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, to No. 5. Jordan Spieth dropped from No. 5 to No. 6. Here's the top 10:

1. Jason Day (AUS)
2. Rory McIlroy (NIR)
3. Henrik Stenson (SWE)
4. Dustin Johnson (USA)
5. Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)
6. Jordan Spieth (USA)
7. Adam Scott (AUS)
8. Justin Thomas (USA)
9. Sergio Garcia (ESP)
10. Patrick Reed (USA)

Matsuyama is an early favorite to win the 2017 Masters.

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