Matsuyama eyes major breakthrough after Shanghai success


Hideki Matsuyama has his sights set on claiming a maiden major title in 2017, after breaking new ground with an emphatic triumph in the WGC-HSBC Champions.

The 24-year-old Japanese cantered to victory by seven shots at Sheshan International Golf Club on Sunday, ending the week 23 under par following a closing 66 - his second consecutive bogey-free round.

Matsuyama is the first Asian player to win a World Golf Championships event and will move up to sixth in the world rankings as a result of the biggest success of his career to date.

However, he is determined to secure even greater rewards next year.

"I knew Y.E. Yang won the [US] PGA Championship and, actually, I was surprised when they announced that I was the first Asian to win a WGC event," said Matsuyama.

"Winning today I feel has got me closer to being able to compete a lot better in the major tournaments. So my next goal is, of course, to win a major, and I'm going to do all that I can to prepare well for that."

Victory in Shanghai provided a sharp contrast to Matsuyama's three most recent participations in the WGC-HSBC Champions.

"You know, I really don't know why I played well this week," he added. "Over the last three years I've had to withdraw [from this tournament] twice, and I didn't play very well the other year [finishing tied for 41st in 2014].

"But I got off to a good start and I really didn't make any changes to my golf swing or anything else. I have putted really well these last three weeks, and that's probably the difference.

"I was really nervous at the start of the day, but I was able to birdie hole number one. I kind of got myself into the rhythm of the day, and after that it was smooth sailing."