Let’s talk less about Tiger, and more about Matsuyama

Liam Griffin

You may have heard that Tiger Woods made his return last weekend at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. However, Hideki Matsuyama won the event, and he deserves the headlines more than Tiger.

Nobody really expected Tiger to win the Hero World Challenge. His play consisted of the moral victory of returning to professional golf. Just finishing without withdrawing was a win. Ultimately though, you play to win the game. Instead of focusing on Tiger, the public should have been dialed in on the player who won the tournament, and may win many more.

If Tiger Woods was the coldest player in the field after his fifteen month hiatus, then Hideki Matsuyama was the hottest. His prowess was on display during the tournament as he dominated the field, leading by as many as seven strokes at some points. Tiger’s return overshadowed Matsuyama’s victory, but the young man made his presence known. While Matsuyama doesn’t receive the publicity of some of his western counterparts, he is a rising star on the PGA Tour.

Hideki Matsuyama walked away from the tournament this weekend with the million dollar check for his victory, and another trophy to add to his résumé.

Although Matsuyama did not rise in the rankings, he continues to impress and seems unstoppable at the moment. Hot streaks and prize money are all fine and dandy, but there’s also something to be said for beating your idol at his own event.

Hideki Matsuyama needs to stop, drop and roll. Why? Well.

“He’s on fire!”

After finishing fourth in the PGA Championship at the end of July, Matsuyama’s stock has been steadily on the rise. Since mid-October, he has now won four different events in his last five starts, including an emphatic seven stroke victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, which crowned him as the WGC Champion.

The twenty-four year old is playing better than anyone over the past few months. I understand that Tiger’s return is exciting since he was once the best in the world, but he isn’t anymore.

Tiger Woods is just another golfer right now, and may never return to his former self. Consequently, instead of spending more time talking about a washed up has-been, we should be talking about the young man who is now ranked number six in the world.

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