Hideki Matsuyama readies for The Presidents Cup 2015
“I’m honored that the Presidents Cup will take place in Asia for the first time.’’
June 23, 2015
By Kenneth Quillinan, special to presidentscup.com
- June 23, 2015
After another solid performance at this week’s US Open, there is no doubt that Hideki Matsuyama is the top Asian player on the PGATOUR at the moment. With this year’s Presidents Cup being played just across the water from his home country of Japan, the current world number 14 is looking forward to playing a major role in helping the International team’s latest attempt to claim the trophy from the much fancied U.S. Team.
How did you get started in the game of golf?
My father was a good amateur player and I followed him to the driving range one day when I was 4 years old, and I fell in love with the sport. He was my inspiration.
How excited are you for this year’s Presidents Cup, the first to be held in Asia?
As an Asian player, I’m very happy and honored that the Presidents Cup will take place in Asia for the first time. I’d like to show my appreciation to all the people who worked extremely hard to make this a reality.
Looking back at The Presidents Cup 2013, can you sum up the experience you had?
It felt like a brand new experience since I hadn’t played match play for a long while. The experience to play against the U.S. Team along with having great teammates definitely helped me gain my confidence.
How did the experience at Muirfield Village help you with your first PGA TOUR victory on the same course in 2014 at the Memorial Tournament? And after a strong defense of your title this year with a top-five finish, is it safe to say that this is your favorite course?
The experience of The Presidents Cup definitely helped me win Jack’s event I’m not sure if I’m confident enough to say that the course suits my game, but since I have a good record so far, I’d like to believe that it is one of my favorite courses.
What was it like to be presented with your maiden trophy by Jack Nicklaus? Did he offer you up any advice?
It was a very special moment for me. Jack’s words meant a lot to me and I’d like to keep trying my best to meet his expectations.
Have you played on his course in Songdo, or will you before The Presidents Cup?
No, I have never played the course, but I am really looking forward to playing it in October.
It goes without saying that your main goal is to win again on the PGA TOUR. Is there any particular event that you would love to be champion of?
Yes, there are several events I would like to win, such as the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, in particular, would be great to be victorious in.
On a similar theme, which major championship trophy would you like to lift? You certainly put up a great showing at this year’s Masters.
It would have to be the Masters, as I have good memories from my amateur days, especially winning the lowest amateur award in the same year of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.
Regarding this year’s Masters, how would you sum up Jordan Spieth’s performance?
It has motivated me to continue working hard and improving my game. I feel strongly that I need to keep working hard to be able to consistently compete against such a good player.
All of the talk these days is about the future of the game and the amount of talented young players (including yourself) on the PGA TOUR. What advice would you offer up to children just taking up the game of golf?
It’s not advice per se, but I sincerely hope that our generation can continue to motivate young children to play the game in a similar way that Tiger did for us. Everyone wanted to be like him.
Are you learning English when you have any spare time to do so?
It’s definitely a work in progress. My listening is getting much better, but I still have trouble speaking.
Away from the golf course, what do you do to enjoy yourself?
I do enjoy playing table tennis when I can find the time to do so!
Can you talk about your charity work?
I have a birdie charity fund back in Japan, and I plan to use the money to help with the continuing recovery process from the earthquake disaster in Sendai.
KJ Choi has suggested that for a team bonding session prior to The Presidents Cup, a visit to a karaoke room is a possibility. If this happens, what song would you choose to sing?
I’m clueless about singing, so will have to pass on that one!
With The Presidents Cup being so close to home, do you have a message for all of the Asian fans contemplating attending?
There is not much opportunity to actually watch the worlds’ top players gather in Asia, so I hope that many fans from all around Asia come out to watch us compete and hopefully win!
Finally, what do you think it is going to take to beat the U.S. Team this year?
I really don’t know. I still need time and experience to figure that one out, but hopefully we will find the solution in October!