Lexus Ambassador Hideki Matsuyama wins a major in Augusta

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Lexus ambassador Hideki Matsuyama carved his name in the hearts of many golf fans around the world by becoming the first Japanese man ever to win a major.

 

His 10 under par saw him clinch the first major of 2021 by one stroke from the USA’s Will Zalatoris, while the latter’s countrymen Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele finished third at minus seven. The 29-year-old Matsuyama was signed by Lexus International in January 2014 and has been sponsored by the luxury automotive brand ever since.

“I’m really happy… Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer in this and many other Japanese will follow. I’m happy to open the floodgate and many more will follow me… Maybe a lot of younger golfers thought, ‘That's an impossibility,’ but with me doing it they will realise it is possible and if they set their minds to it they can do it,”

 

said Matsuyama.

Prior to the historic win, no Japanese player has won a men’s major, with Isao Aoki’s runner-up to USA’s Jack Nicklaus at the 1980 US Open the closest call. The win could not have come at an opportune time for Matsuyama, as he is one of the official faces of the Summer Olympics in taking place in Tokyo later this year. Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota – the mobility partner of the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Olympic torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Games has already begun its 121-day journey across Japan and is destined for the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 23. The relay began in the northeastern Fukushima region, the area that was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and the meltdown of three nuclear reactors. About 18 000 people perished died in that tragedy.

President of Toyota Motors Corporation Akio Toyoda served as one of the torchbearers earlier this month.

According to Toyoda:

“I believe that the power of sport lies in its ability to connect people with diverse personalities and backgrounds as they compete towards a common goal with mutual respect. My experience with sports has fundamentally shaped my life and the way I see the world.”

 

 

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