The Latest: Matsuyama hopes to be pioneer for Japanese golf

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Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, celebrates during champion's green jacket ceremony after winning the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Latest on the Masters, the first golf major of the year (all times EDT):

8:40 p.m.

Hideki Matsuyama has delivered golf-mad Japan the grandest and greenest prize of all.

A decade after Matsuyama made a sterling debut as the best amateur at Augusta National, he claimed the ultimate trophy with a victory in the Masters.

Matsuyama becomes the first Japanese winner of a men's major championship. He's just the second male from an Asian country to capture a major, following Y.E. Yang of South Korea at the 2009 PGA Championship.

Moments before Dustin Johnson helped him into the green jacket, Matsuyama needed no interpreter in Butler Cabin when he said in English, “I’m really happy.”

Never mind that Matsuyama bogeyed three of his last four holes, making him the first Masters champion with a final round over par since Trevor Immelman shot 75 in 2008.

All that mattered was that uphill walk to the 18th green. He blasted out of the bunker and took two putts to seal a one-stroke victory over Masters rookie Will Zalatoris.