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Matsuyama Pulls Off Stunning Victory at Sony Open

Matsuyama Pulls Off Stunning Victory

The defending Masters champion rallied from a five-shot deficit to force a playoff, and then defeated Russell Henley on Sunday to win the Sony Open.

Matsuyama has now won twice this season and twice in his last three starts, following his victory at the Zozo Championship in October. The eight-time Tour winner finished T13 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions last week. That makes him the only player on the Tour to have won twice so far this season.

On Honolulu, Henley, who had led for practically the entire event, increased his lead to five strokes on Sunday. This was after a remarkable front-nine finish that included three birdies and an eagle in his final four holes to take a five-shot lead.

The second nine began with a double-bogey by Henley, and Matsuyama followed with back-to-back birdies to reduce the margin to two. Using a long putt, Matsuyama birdied the 15th hole to reduce the gap to one stroke.

However, Matsuyama failed to convert two birdie opportunities on the following two holes, while Henley made par, putting him in the lead heading into the final round.

That was only for a short period of time. Matsuyama fired a 338-yard drive on the par-5 18th, while Henley found a bunker off the tee on the same hole.

Matsuyama then reached the green in two and two-putted for birdie to grab a share of the lead. 

Henley’s birdie putt to win then was just off the mark — which sent the two into a playoff.

Henley’s drive on the playoff hole found the bunker again while Matsuyama easily stuck his approach just feet from the cup. Henley then missed the green on his approach, which allowed Matsuyama to tap in his eagle and claim the win.

Matsuyama posted a second straight 7-under 63 on Sunday, which brought him to -23 on the week. Henley, who held the 54-hole lead, has now blown such a lead six times in his career. Kevin Kisner and Seamus Power finished tied for third at 19-under on the week.

Read the original article on Yahoo Sports.

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