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Can Matsuyama Be Japan's First Major Winner? PGA Championship Preview

According to the current World Golf Rankings, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama is the third ranked player in the world, and after his emphatic victory yesterday at Firestone, he is now No.1 in the FEDEX Cup standings too. To date, the Japanese suerstar has chalked up 13 wins with 5 of them on the PGA tour, and three of those in 2017. Add to this 6 top ten finishes on tour this year, two of them at majors, including a runner up at the US Open (Matsuyama had the day's lowest round, a six-under-par 66, to finish four shots adrift of winner Brooks Koepka) and you can see both his pedigree and consistancy.

The under-hyped Matsuyama is often forgotten about by the international media, which seems to suit the quiet Ehime native, who has yet to conduct an interview in English, preferring to let his golf do the talking, and it certainly did this week.

But the question remains; can Matsuyama be Japan's first major winner?

Major Ambition

The answer is simple: Yes, he can.

The last major of the year; The PGA Championship will be contested this week. Matsuyama will be, despite his win yesterday- an underdog, with pundits still underwriting the on-form Jordan Spieth, eyeing a career grand slam at just 24 years of age.

Spieth on Matsuyama:

 "I think Hideki will be a major champion within the next couple of years, personally," Jordan Spieth said. "It's awesome to see him tearing it up here."

Matsuyama on winning a major and the pressure from home fans:

“Winning a major is on my list of goals. I feel good and inspired by the support I get from Japan rather than feeling additional pressure. I want to make the Japanese golf fans proud. I already feel enormous pride to have reached No2 in the world rankings and be the first Japanese player to reach this.”

Japan and the world will be watching and wishing their countryman to capture his - and the country's first major. 

The PGA Championship starts Thursday at Quail Hollow.

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