/

Matsuyama aims for Masters victory

Kyodo

Hideki Matsuyama said Monday he is aiming to win next year’s Masters.

Matsuyama earned his invitation to the season’s first major by being among the top 50 golfers when the world rankings were published Sunday. The 21-year-old remained 23rd in the world, and will be playing the event, to be held from April 10-13 in Augusta, Georgia, for the third time.

A student at Sendai’s Tohoku Fukushi University, Matsuyama turned pro in April and became the first rookie to win the JGTO money title, clinching it prior to the season’s final event.

“I’m so happy to be in a position to qualify,” he told reporters on Monday. “My goal is to win it.”

Matsuyama finished 27th at the 2011 Masters as the top-scoring amateur despite nearly pulling out of the event following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the Tohoku region. The following year, he finished 54th.

“I have to practice more than I have up to this point and get better results,” he said. “It’s essential that I be suitably prepared.”