Hideki Matsuyama Wins in Dramatic Fashion
Honolulu, HI – Hideki Matsuyama (-23) bested Russell Henley in a playoff to claim the 2022 Sony Open in Hawaii. Matsuyama shot a bogey-free 63 to close the gap and force a playoff. On the first playoff hole (the par 5 18th) Matsuyama hit a stunning three wood from 277 yards to five feet and sunk the putt for eagle.
While Henley was rock solid all week on a course he has great memories on (his first career victory was at the Sony in 2013), he couldn’t seal the deal. Henley led by five strokes after the front nine. By the time they reached the 18th tee, it was down to one. The pair went to a playoff after Matsuyama made birdie at the last and Henley failed to match him.
The golf course, a 1927 design by Seth Raynor, is one of the few stops on tour where driving distance is not a major differentiator. As a result, elite iron players tend to flourish here. By way of example, the previous three winners are Kevin Na, Cameron Smith, and Matt Kuchar.
In this year’s event, a similar story played out. Kevin Kisner (-19) finished T3 along with Seamus Power. Lucas Glover (-18) finished T5 along with Michael Thompson. And Russell Knox and Matt Kuchar (-17) joined Adam Svensson and Keith Mitchell at T7.
Other notable finishes included Haotong Li (T12, -15), who started the final round within touching distance of the lead but fell back and finished just short of an invite to next week’s event; and Corey Conners (solo 11th, -16) who finished the week with a 64 that could have been even lower.
Next week, the PGA Tour heads back to the mainland and Palm Springs for the American Express. Si Woo Kim is the defending champion there and will compete against a field that includes Abraham Ancer, Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Jon Rahm, Matthew Wolff, and Will Zalatoris.
Hideki Matsuyama What’s In The Bag
Driver: Srixon ZX5 9.5° (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 TX)
3 Wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium 15° (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 TX)
Utility: TaylorMade SIM UDI 3 (True Temper Elevate Tour X100)
Irons: Srixon Z Forged 4-P (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)
Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 Forged Prototype 52°, 56°, 60° (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100, S400 in 52)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
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Good start to the season for Kiz and Matusyama, hoping Kiz can finish T10 in Augusta this year.