A 12 foot birdie putt at the fourth extra hole of a playoff against Webb Simpson has provided Japanese sensation Hideki Matsuyama with his fourth PGA Tour title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the TPC Scottsdale.
Matsuyama, who was the defending champion as a result of his playoff win over Rickie Fowler twelve months ago, continued not only his stunning run of form over recent months but his great record in this particular event, the victory today his 4th finish inside the top four in four starts at this venue.
The playoff pair began the final round four (Matsuyama) and six (Simpson) shots behind the 54 hole leader, Byeong Hun An, but both Matsuyama and Simpson began their final rounds with an early eagle at the 3rd hole and would record bogey free rounds before a playoff became necessary.
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Playing ahead of Matsuyama in today’s final round, Simpson birdied his final hole after an approach from 143 yards finished three feet from the hole and soon after Matsuyama all but won it in regulation play when his 18 foot bidie putt for victory stopped just one roll short of the cup.
Matsuyama has now finished either first or second in seven of his last nine starts worldwide, continuing a run that has seen him move to number 6 in the world. This was also his 11th win in a professional event.
His win this week, however, will likely see move up one place in the world rankings.
Louis Oosthuizen finished alone in 3rd position while last year’s runner-up, Rickie Fowler, and J.J. Spaun tied for 4th.
Marc Leishman finished as the leading Australian in 24th position after moving into contention through 54 holes, a final round of 73 not doing him any favours.
Matt Jones, playing in invite this week, finished 36th, Cameron Smith was 42nd and Geoff Ogilvy 47th.
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