Matsuyama first Asian winner of WGC
SHANGHAI — Hideki Matsuyama of Japan never gave anyone a chance Sunday, closing with a 6-under 66 to win the HSBC Champions and become the first Asian winner in the 18 years of the World Golf Championships.
It was only fitting that Matsuyama won the WGC billed as “Asia’s major.”
The 24-year-old Matsuyama hit his second shot into the water on the par-5 18th hole and still finished with a par, holing an 18-foot putt. That gave him a seven-shot victory over British Open champion Henrik Stenson (65) and Daniel Berger (69).
It was the largest margin of victory at the HSBC Champions, and the largest in a WGC since Tiger Woods won by seven in the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.
Starting the final round with a three-shot lead, Matsuyama hit his approach into 4 feet for birdie and was on his way. His only difficult moment came at the par-3 fourth hole when he went over the green and his chip came out soft, stopping some 15 feet short of the cup. Berger had a 10-foot birdie attempt, setting up the potential for a two-shot swing that would have cut the lead to two shots.
Matsuyama holed the putt, then hit an approach up the hill to 4 feet on the next hole for birdie. He poured it on along the back nine with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 13th, a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th hole and then another strong approach out of the rough to the tough 15th that settled 3 feet away.
He played his final 45 holes at Sheshan International without a bogey. Matsuyama finished at 23-under 265, one shot away from the tournament record set three years ago by Dustin Johnson.
It was the 10th career victory for Matsuyama, who goes to a career-best No. 6 in the world ranking.
SIME DARBY LPGA MALAYSIA
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Shanshan Feng won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia to cap a string of high finishes that started with an Olympic bronze medal.
The 27-year-old Chinese star beat Suzann Pettersen by three strokes at TPC Kuala Lumpur, shooting a 4-under 67 after finishing off a third-round 64 in the morning.
Feng won the tournament for the second time to push her LPGA Tour victory total to five, ending a drought that stretched to her 2014 win in Kuala Lumpur. She has finished no worse than a tie for fourth in her last six events. After Rio, she tied for fourth at Evian in France, then opened the Asia Swing in China with a fourth-place tie at Reignwood, was second in Taiwan and tied for third in South Korea.