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Matsuyama Nails Down First American Victory
After closing with a 3-under 69 to tie Kevin Na in regulation, Hideki Matsuyama sank a 10-foot par putt on the first sudden-death playoff hole to win the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
Na came from way back in the pack, firing an 8-under 64 on Sunday to finish 72 holes at 13-under 275. Na posted five birdies on the front nine and tacked on three more on the back for Sunday's low round.
But Na couldn't match Matsuyama's par after finding a water hazard on the first extra hole - the par-4 18th, giving the 22-year-old from Japan his first victory in the U.S.
After recording five wins on the Japan Golf Tour, Matsuyama was thrilled for his first American title, especially at an event hosted by golf icon, Jack Nicklaus. "I'm really, really happy," he said through an interpreter. "It's a dream come true to win at Mr. Nicklaus' course."
The victory was worth $1.116 million, 500 FedEx Cup points and an automatic two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
Bubba Watson began Sunday with a one-stroke lead over Scott Langley, and two in front of Matsuyama. But the two-time Masters champion fell short of reaching the playoff. He led for much of the final round but a double-bogey on the par-5 15th moved him a shot back and he closed with three straight pars for a 72.
"It's tough," Watson said, who was going for his third win of the year but made a critical mistake on the 15th. "I made one bad decision. If I hit 4-wood off the tee instead of driver on the par-5, we make 5 and we win by one. But I made double, so we lost by one."
Tied for fourth at 10-under 278 were Chris Kirk (68) and Adam Scott (71).
Scott, the No. 1-ranked player in the world who solidified his No. 1 position by winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Texas a week ago, held a share of the lead through 11 holes. But his tee shot found on the water on the par-3 12th, leading to a double-bogey, and he bogeyed the 14th, 15th and 16th.
"It's the way it goes," the Aussie said. "You get lucky breaks and you get bad ones."
Sharing sixth at 9-under were Steve Stricker (68) and Ben Curtis (70), while another stroke back in a tie for eighth were Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen (68), South Africa's Charl Schwartzel (72) and Americans Bill Haas (68), Luke Guthrie (70) and Brendon Todd (72).
Defending champion Matt Kuchar shot 69 and 70 over the weekend at 6-under to tie for 15th with, among others, Rory McIlroy.
Phil Mickelson, who had to answer media questions after Saturday's third round about a federal insider-trading probe, posted a 72 and 73 in the final two rounds to end up T-49 at 1-under 287.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.