AKRON, OHIO – Hideki Matsuyama shot 61 on the final day at Firestone last year to win the Bridgestone Invitational, his sixth victory worldwide in 20 starts. He was among the favorites to win the PGA Championship the following week and nearly pulled it off until Justin Thomas overtook him on the back nine.
That was his last good chance to win a tournament.
Matsuyama returns to this World Golf Championship needing to revive some good memories.
“I started out the new season and I really haven’t played that well,” Matsuyama said Tuesday. “I’ve been grinding and practicing hard. Hopefully, this will be a week that I can catch the magic again and play well.”
Matsuyama, once in the mix to reach No. 1 in the world, now is at No. 16. More troublesome is that he is No. 86 in the FedEx Cup standings with only three tournaments left before the start of the tour’s postseason.
In his four years on the PGA Tour, the 26-year-old Japanese star has never missed the Tour Championship.
“I have some work to do,” Matsuyama said. “I’ve never been in this position before, and so I’ll have to get on my game and play well these last couple of weeks. Hopefully, it will carry through to the Tour Championship.”