Hideki Matsuyama is back at the Rocket Mortgage Classic for the first time since his misfortune in 2021.
After carding a respectable 2-under-par 70 in round one, Japan’s top golfer was forced to withdraw due to a positive Covid test.
It was a shame, as Matsuyama was in decent shape to make his third cut in as many starts at Detroit Golf Club.
He took T-19th (68-67-68-70) at the inaugural event in 2019 and T-21st (71-68-65-71) the following year.
It’s been a disappointing 2022-23 PGA Tour season for Matsuyama in the sense that he hasn’t won and boasts just two top-10s.
However, he’s missed just two stroke play cuts and is on a streak of eight in a row beginning with solo fifth at the Players Championship.
The 31-year-old has been solid at the majors, going T16th-T29th-T32nd.
Last week at the Travelers Championship, Matsuyama recorded his best finish since TPC Sawgrass by taking T-13th against a strong field at a designated event.
Four rounds in the 60s ought to have him primed for another birdie fest this week in Michigan.
Matsuyama ranks 20th on the PGA Tour in total strokes gained per round (1.060). He’s a positive in every SG category except for putting.
We all know the flat stick is an ongoing battle for Hideki. Fortunately, the greens this week aren’t too difficult.
Matsuyama will also benefit from DGC’s wide fairways. He’s 22nd in proximity from the fairway (31’6”) and 127th (47’5”) from the rough.
He’s also 27th in par-5 scoring average (4.56).