After a faultless display on the final day, Matsuyama almost collected the title in regulation play only for his birdie putt to fall agonisingly short on the final hole. With the ball refusing to drop Matsuyama could only tie Simpson at the top of the leader-board to force a four-hole play-off.
As darkness fell at TPC Scottsdale the two players shared the first three holes before Matsuyama finally broke the deadlock with 10-foot birdie putt at the fourth, to take the title. Speaking afterwards Matsuyama said, “It was a struggle but I was delighted to win.”
Along with the trophy and $1.2M payday, Matsuyama also secured top spot on the FedEx Cup leader-board with this his third victory since October. Having already won the World Golf Championships and the Hero World Challenge, the 24 year old will be full of confidence going into the second half of the season.
This scintillating form has not gone unnoticed. According to BetStars, Matsuyama is now second favourite for golf’s first major event of the year, the Masters, which starts on April 6 at Augusta National.