Matsuyama defeats Na to win wild Memorial playoff


Even without his driver, Hideki Matsuyama managed to make par on the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat Kevin Na and win the Memorial Tournament. Here is the skinny on a wild final round at Muirfield Village:

The leaderboard: Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Na at -13; Bubba Watson (-12); Adam Scott and Chris Kirk at -10

What it means: It’s the first career victory for Matsuyama, a Japanese phenom who finally broke through on the biggest stage in golf. With a pair of top 10s in majors already, the 22-year-old is expected to move inside the top 15 in the world rankings.

Round of the day: Late on the back nine it looked like Matsuyama’s tournament to lose, which he almost did by doubling the par-3 16th when he found the water and then flubbing his chip on 17 to drop another shot. However, he became the first player in 30 years to birdie the 18th hole all four rounds to force a playoff, but he smashed his driver on the ground and broke the head. With no big stick to turn to in the playoff, he opted for 3-wood and pushed it in the right bunker, but he was able to make the 10-foot par putt for the win.

Best of the rest: Na seemed poised to become the biggest comeback winner on the PGA Tour this season, but his closing 64 was only good enough for a playoff. On the first extra hole, his tee shot with a driver sailed left, clanked off a few trees and dropped into the water hazard, leaving him 225 into the hole for his third shot. He fanned that long approach into the right rough.

Biggest disappointment: Watson was one shot clear playing the 14th hole, but he bogeyed the short par 4, then double-crossed his tee shot on the par-5 15th, hitting it out of bounds on the right – into a homeowner’s backyard – and recording a double. He closed with 72, but dropped to just 2-for-9 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead on Tour.

Shot of the day: Even after breaking his driver on the tee shot, Matsuyama stuffed his 18th-hole approach shot from 165 yards to about 5 feet to set up the playoff.