ALBANY, BAHAMAS – Believe it or not, the Hero World Challenge isn’t just about Tiger Woods.
Hideki Matsuyama in the midst of a dominating run that were it happening at a different time of year would be generating breathless praise.
Instead, Matsuyama is quietly playing brilliant golf, the most recent evidence being the 7-under par 65 he shot Saturday at Albany Golf Club, staking himself to a seven-stroke lead over Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson entering the final round.
If you haven’t been paying close attention here’s what Matsuyama has done since the Tour Championship in September:
He won the Japan Open;
Finished second in the CIMB Classic;
Won the WGC-HSBC Champions;
And won the Taiheiyo Masters.
Now he’s 18 holes away from his fourth win in five starts.
There has been no doubt about Matsuyama’s ball-striking ability – he’s been one of the steadiest players tee to green for a while. It’s always been a question of putting.
A tip from Hiroshi Iwata helped start Matsuyama on his worldwide roll. Now he’s borderline unbeatable.
“We’ve given ourselves a couple of good chances for birdies and they’ve gone in,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter. “I really feel kind of lucky up until now.”
Luck may be the least of it.