Masters 2021: Matsuyama Hideki on verge of golf history for Japan

World number 25 leads after third round by four shots, looking for Japan's first men's golf Major championship

By ZK Goh

Matsuyama Hideki is just 18 holes away from golf history at the 2021 Masters at Augusta National as he bids to become the first men's Japanese Major winner.

The golfer from Ehime Prefecture overcame the stormy conditions – which forced a delay of over an hour on "Moving Day" on Saturday (10 April) – to record the first bogey-free round of the tournament this year, posting a seven-under 65.

Matsuyama's round leaves him at 11-under-par going into Sunday's final round, four shots clear of a four-man tie for second that includes the first- and second-round leader Justin Rose (even par 72), the Olympic champion.

Rose is level with Australia's Marc Leishman (two-under 70) and Americans Xander Schauffele (four-under 68) and Will Zalatoris (one-under 71).

Zalatoris, a 24-year-old playing his first Masters tournament, has a shot at becoming the first debut winner at Augusta since 1979, when Fuzzy Zoeller did so.

Matsuyama put together an impressive back nine, having gone out with just one birdie on the seventh hole.

But two straight birdies on the 11th and 12th were backed up by an eagle on the 15th and further birdies on 16 and 17.

"After the restart I hit practically every shot exactly how I wanted to," the 29-year-old said afterwards of the interruption in play.

"It will be a new experience for me," he added of leading going into the deciding round. "All I can do is relax, prepare well and do my best."