• Kyodo

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Hideki Matsuyama gave himself a damning report card on Sunday as he slumped to a fifth-place finish in the PGA Tour’s season-opening CIMB Classic.

Although he managed his third straight top-five finish at the event on the par-72 course at TPC Kuala Lumpur, Matsuyama said, “I had zero good iron shots today.”

Starting the day in fourth, six strokes off the pace of winner and overnight leader Pat Perez, Matsuyama carded three birdies and two bogies to finish with a 16-under 272 total in a two-way tie for fifth.

Perez, of the United States, finished with a 24-under 264 to win by four strokes over compatriot Keegan Bradley. It was Perez’s third victory on the tour.

Although Matsuyama fashioned solid scores in the second and third rounds, he credited that to lucky putting rather than reliable play.

“My troubles (with the irons) continued without letup,” he said. “Nothing I could do could hide that.”

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