Hideki Matsuyama has seen his stock rise tremendously over the course of the last four years. With three victories and three more runner-up finishes in 2017, Matsuyama established himself as a legitimate top-five player in the world. However, there’s a small amount of concern over his recent form heading into the Tour Championship.
In three previous starts in the FedEx Cup finale, Matsuyama has consistently improved his results, from 22nd in 2014, to 12th in 2015 and fifth last year. The Playoffs as a whole, however, have been a different story.
In 2016, Matsuyama missed the cut at The Barclays, finished 15th at the Deutsche Bank, and tied for 24th at the BMW Championship. Tournament name changes aside, this year’s marks were MC-T23-T47, by comparison. Matsuyama may be third in the world, but there’s a reason he dropped all the way from fourth to seventh in FedEx Cup points.
While I’m tentative on Matsuyama’s chances with that skid, I still think he’s a solid top-ten candidate for East Lake on talent alone. If the chance to control his own fate wasn’t enough to boost Matsuyama at Conway Farms this past weekend, knowing he must win to have a shot at the FedEx Cup may do the trick.