“I want to come back to this stage again. I want to play here over four days again. I have to come back here.” And with reverence, he witnessed the winner Charl Schwartzel putting on the symbol of champions right next to him.
The Masters tournament undoubtedly became a turning point for Matsuyama to turn himself into one of the top players of his generation. However, looking back over the years, people would come to see him dissatisfied on more than one occasion during his subsequent visits to Augusta.
In 2012, he returned to the tournament after defending his title at the Asia Amateur Championship. He made the cut again and carded a disappointing 80 for the final round. About to face legions of press after his TV coverage interview, Hideki instead disappeared into the locker room, and cried alone. It wasn’t because he blew an opportunity to win the low-amateur title for the second straight year by 2 strokes. He wept and muttered aloud, “not good enough” — reflecting on the way he played that Sunday.