Hideki Matsuyama’s history-making Masters triumph has modified the face of golf, based on the 29-year-old’s former caddie.
Matsuyama claimed the well-known inexperienced jacket on Sunday, changing into the primary Japanese man to win a serious event within the course of.
His victory got here in thrilling style, Matsuyama seeing off competitors from Will Zalatoris, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele to complete 10 below par at Augusta.
Earlier than Matsuyama’s achievement, feminine stars Hinako Shibuno (2019 Girls’s British Open) and Chako Higuchi (1977 LPGA Championship) had been Japan’s earlier golf main winners.
Daisuke Shindo caddied for Matsuyama between 2013 and 2018, and he believes Matsuyama’s win will result in a change within the sport not solely in Asia, however throughout the globe.
“He has made historical past, not solely in Japan but in addition Asia and the world. I believe it was a second that modified the world of golf. I believe it was such an incredible achievement,” Shindo instructed Stats Carry out Information.
“I believe that’s big. We grew up watching Tiger Woods once we had been younger. I grew up watching Jumbo Ozaki and Shigeki Maruyama. I nonetheless admire them now.
“I believe it was an incredible inspiration for all the youngsters who noticed Hideki win the Masters, and never solely the youngsters but in addition the skilled golfers.
“I believe Hideki’s victory had an incredible impression on individuals who do not play golf. For the previous a few days, I have been listening to ‘golf, golf’ wherever throughout city. It is superb. I’ve by no means heard atypical younger folks speaking about golf. I believe it is superb.”
Shindo additionally backed Matsuyama to win one other main this 12 months, as he believes his ex-university classmate has lastly delivered on his promise after beforehand managing 5 PGA Tour wins.
“Each participant is basically onerous on themselves. That is why they hold the place as prime athletes,” Shindo added.
“However for those who’re too onerous on your self, you are not going to have the ability to loosen up and you are going to get annoyed. Golf is a sport [in] which you need to settle for errors, however it’s crucial to discover a steadiness. I believe Matsuyama accepted his errors this time and performed golf in a really optimistic method.
“Even in a troublesome scenario, he did not panic, and even when the movement of the sport was unhealthy, he was all the time affected person. He did not look annoyed, he wasn’t shaken in any respect and appeared calm.
“I nonetheless play golf and have dinner with Hideki when he comes again to Japan. We’re extra like brothers in arms than former companions.
“I used to be actually completely satisfied. I noticed how he was all the time combating, with all of the strain from Japanese supporters. For the time being Hideki was lastly rewarded, I actually cried.”
One sure solution to cement golf’s rising recognition in Japan can be with a gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics, with Shindo foreseeing an increase to world primary.
“I believe it has boosted the boldness of not simply Matsuyama however all of the members of ‘Group Matsuyama’,” Shindo stated.
“It is a good way to construct momentum as a group. Now Hideki has that confidence. I believe the group will probably be robust when that occurs. I’m assured that he’ll win a gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics.
“For Hideki, it is higher for him to have a bit strain. He’s such a robust and massive man. I believe he’ll do nicely on the Olympics and he’ll be primary on the earth rating.
“After I was on tour with him, his highest rating was two, however I believe he’ll rise to primary.”