By Lisa Marien
Northwest Asian Weekly
Hideki Matsuyama, only 23 years old, is one of Japan’s fastest rising golf stars and he will be participating in the U.S. Open in Chambers Bay this month.
Matsuyama was born in Ehime Prefecture, Japan on February 25, 1992. He has studied since 2010, at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai. An adamant golf student, he believes in his education first and foremost.
He travels with translator Bob Turner, caddie Daisuke Shindo, and trainer Mitsuteru Iida.
Hideki over the last few years has become a popular household name in many Japanese homes. He first received attention when he won the 2010 Asia Pacific Amateur and earned a spot in the Masters at the age of 18.
In 2011, Hideki won the gold medal at the 2011 World University Games. He also led the Japan team to the gold medal in the team event.
2011 proved to be a difficult year for Hideki when his school in Sendai was struck by a devastating earthquake and a following tsunami. At the time he decided to continue in the Augusta, GA tournament. The Japanese city he grew up in, Ehime, 500 miles away, was not affected the same as other cities. Hideki decided to continue to compete in Augusta, GA at the Masters. Hideki joined his friends, family, and professional peers in volunteering in Sendai after the Masters.
Though Tiger Woods continues to be an inspiration, Hideki is a self-taught competitor; he uses videos of himself to strengthen his swing.
“I’ve always liked to find out things for myself and to have that freedom to search out and try different things and see what works best for me, rather than have someone tell me what is best for me. So far, not having a full-time coach has been an interesting journey. It’s been good for me. But I’m sure in the future, there will be a time when I need a coach and I look forward to talking to different coaches and finding one who sees the game and my swing the same way I do.”
“Golf has been fun for me from the first time I picked up a club, and it remains so today and hopefully it will remain fun and enjoyable for the rest of my life” says Matsuyama in an interview with pgatour.com.
Aside from golf, his other love is fishing. He caught his first 12-pound Hamachi when he was 10. He also likes following Japanese baseball players.
With all of Hideki’s energy, youth, and exuberance, we can expect to see a very exciting tournament at Chambers Bay. (end)
Lisa Marien can be reached at email@example.com.