Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) won the 2021 Masters Golf Tournament. His final score of -10 was just one stroke better than that of rookie Will Zalatoris’ (USA) but he looked dominant throughout the last day.
Matsuyama is the first Asian golfer to win the Masters and just the second to win a Major Championship. This sent shockwaves and might help propel the sport of golf even more.
Golf is a very popular sport in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and increasingly in Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China. Very good players have come out of Asia but many of them just fell short of winning a major tournament.
Matsuyama was formed in the Asian Amateur system, becoming the 2010 and 2011 Asia-Pacific Champion (which launched in 2009). That led to his first Masters invitations. Fast forward ten years and he is the Champion.
Sporting success does not occur in a vacuum. Systems have to be set in place and then success comes. The Masters has historically been a very closed, private organization, but their bet towards supporting Asian golf is reaping its benefits.
This is not only good for Asian golf but for golf overall. Matsuyama was the online tendency in one of the world’s largest markets and is set to become a domestic star at the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Masters had already seen Champions from countries such as Fiji, South Africa or Argentina. Asia was the only continent missing. This does not mean that the Masters and other large-scale sporting events should stop supporting an internationally-diverse participation in their leagues.
Rather, this triumph shows that the leagues will reap benefits from them. The world is ever more interconnected and looking further afield is also big for your market. Being Big in Japan means being big overall.