Hideki Matsuyama has always been a mega-talented player, but he’s truly thrived in his fourth full season on the PGA TOUR. With three victories, including two World Golf Championships events, Matsuyama has realized his potential as one of the top golfers in the world.
Currently ranked No. 2 in the world, Matsuyama was a threat to win in every major played this year. He finished tied for 11th at the Masters, runner-up at the U.S. Open, tied for 14th at The Open, and tied for fifth at the PGA Championship. In 18 starts, Matsuyama only missed one cut. This was just one of those magical seasons with basically no downside.
Matsuyama isn’t a household name to non-golf fans yet, but in just four weeks, he very well could be. He’ll head into the FedEx Cup Playoffs with a narrow edge over Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, but with perhaps just a bit of extra motivation to hold off the major champions and etch his name on the FedEx Cup itself. I imagine he wouldn’t have a problem with a $10 million check hitting his account on the Monday after the Tour Championship, either.
As we’ve become accustomed to, there are no obvious holes in Matsuyama’s game. He’s 22nd on TOUR in driving distance, seventh in greens in regulation, first in birdie average and adjusted scoring, and fifth in putting average. His skills translate basically everywhere on the planet, and as long as he’s healthy, he’s a legitimate contender.
Who do you think has what it takes to bring home the FedEx Cup this year?