Matsuyama defeats Na in playoff at the Memorial


The Sports Network

Dublin, OH ( - Hideki Matsuyama parred the first playoff hole on Sunday to defeat Kevin Na and claim the title at the Memorial Tournament.

Matsuyama, who earned his first career win on the PGA Tour, carded a 3-under 69 during his final round at Muirfield Village Golf Club to finish the tournament at 13-under-par 275. Na fired an 8-under 64 to meet him there.

Third-round leader Bubba Watson managed an even-par 72 during his final round to fall into third place at 12-under 276, while Adam Scott (71) and Chris Kirk (68) shared fourth at minus-10.

Steve Stricker (68) and Ben Curtis (70) tied for sixth at 9-under. Thorbjorn Olesen (68), Bill Haas (68), Luke Guthrie (70), Brendan Todd (72) and Charl Schwartzel (72) shared eighth place at 8-under 280.

Matsuyama and Na returned to the 18th hole for the playoff and both found trouble off the tee.

Matsuyama, who was playing without a driver in his bag after the shaft broke in half following his tee shot his first time at the 18th hole, found a bunker and Na pulled his into the creek to the left of the fairway.

Neither could find the green with their next shot and both then hit to about 10 feet from the hole.

Matsuyama was the first to take his putt and converted his par effort to clinch his maiden win on tour.

"I'm just happy. Really, really happy," Matsuyama said in a televised interview through an interpreter. "It's a dream come true to win here at Mr. Nicklaus' golf course. It couldn't be better."

Watson entered the day with a 1-stroke lead and maintained that advantage after a birdie at the first as Matsuyama followed a birdie at the first by holing out from a bunker at the second for another birdie to move to 13-under.

Watson then stuck his tee shot at the par-3 fourth to seven feet and converted that birdie to grab a 2-stroke lead.

Na, meanwhile, opened his bogey-free round with a 3-foot birdie at the first before rolling in four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the fifth to make the turn at 10-under.

He stayed hot with a 2-putt birdie at the 11th and converted back-to-back birdies from inside 10 feet at Nos. 14 and 15 to reach 13-under and pull within a shot of Watson.

Na parred his final three holes to claim the clubhouse lead and watched as the remaining players on the course limped towards the finish.

Matsuyama would join Na at 13-under with a short birdie at the seventh before he rolled in a 20-foot birdie at the eighth to meet Watson atop the leaderboard.

Watson handed Matsuyama the outright lead with a bogey at the ninth, but atoned for his gaffe with consecutive birdies at the 10th and 11th to reclaim the outright lead at 15-under.

Scott had briefly met Matsuyama and Watson at 14-under before finding the water at the par-3 12th en route to a double-bogey.

Matsuyama again claimed a share of the lead with a birdie at the 13th and after he and Watson both bogeyed the 14th to remain tied, Matsuyama converted a 3-foot birdie putt at the 15th to gain sole possession of first place at 15- under.

It looked as if he would roll to the victory when Watson's errant drive at the 15th sailed well out of bounds and resulted in a double-bogey to drop him to 12-under, but Matsuyama then found the water at the 16th and posted a double- bogey himself to drop into a tie with Na.

Matsuyama handed Na the outright lead with a bogey at the 17th, but stuck his approach at the last to five feet and converted that birdie effort to force the playoff.

Watson parred his final three holes to finish a shot off the pace.

NOTES: This was the first playoff at this event since 1992 ... Watson recorded his seventh top-10 finish of the season, tying his career high set in 2012 ... Matsuyama birdied the 18th hole in all four of his rounds. He is the first player to accomplish that feat ... Jason Allred earned Special Temporary Member status on the PGA Tour with his share of 15th place.

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