Hideki Matsuyama ties course record to win WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
By AP News
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Hideki Matsuyama warmed up poorly and then turned in the best round of his career at the Bridgestone Invitational, a 9-under 61 that tied the course record and gave him another blowout victory in a World Golf Championship.
It was the lowest final round in four decades at Firestone Country Club and led to a five-shot victory over Zach Johnson.
Matsuyama knew from experience that the course record was a 61 because he was in the same group when Tiger Woods shot 61 in the second round in 2013. All it would take was birdies on the last three holes, and like everything else Sunday, the 25-year-old from Japan made it look easy.
“I knew 61 was the number,” Matsuyama said through his interpreter. “I was thinking about that at 16. I knew if I birdied 16, 17, 18 I could get there.”
He spun a wedge back to 4 feet on the par-5 16th for birdie. He holed an 8-foot putt on the 17th hole and then closed with another approach and settled 6 feet away. Matsuyama, who began the final round two shots behind Johnson and Thomas Pieters, finished at 15-under 265.