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Hideki Matsuyama is Golf’s Quiet Superstar

  • April 13, 2021

He joined the PGA Tour in 2013 and won a few tournaments before a breakout 2017, when he topped the leaderboard at three events and placed second at the United States Open.

It was that year when his penchant for privacy became clear: He announced that he had married months earlier and that he and his wife had had a child.

“No one really asked me if I was married, or, you know, so I didn’t have to answer that question,” he said at a tournament news conference then. “But I felt that after the P.G.A. would be a good time, because our baby is born and I thought that would be a good time to let everyone know.”

The shyness remains. Asked over the weekend how he felt about the coronavirus pandemic having kept more journalists away from the grounds at Augusta National, he replied: “I’m glad the media are here covering it, but it’s not my favorite thing to do, to stand and answer questions. And so with fewer media, it’s been a lot less stressful for me, and I’ve enjoyed this week.”

But in the years before a full ascent into golf’s elite, particularly in Japan, Matsuyama was a promising young player in search of guidance, Scott remembered.

“I found back then he was really interested to learn everything he could,” Scott recalled of his interactions with a younger Matsuyama during the 2013 Presidents Cup, the first of four in which Matsuyama would compete.

“Just someone who’s got a desire to do well is what it looked like,” Scott said later. “He wasn’t afraid to ask the questions, and I think that shows. As timid as some people can be, the desire to do well overshadows the language barrier or being shy or anything like that.”

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