Hideki Matsuyama: “Covid, it’s disappointing”

Covid cases are back on the PGA Golf Tour. Hideki Matsuyama, this year’s winner of The Masters, was forced to withdraw from the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit (USA) because he was positive.

Hideki Matsuyama, statements

Less than a month before the start of the men’s individual golf competition at the Tokyo Games (scheduled from 29 July to 1 August), the Japanese, who dreams of a gold medal at home, will have to stop in the pits. “It is disappointing to receive this news, I will take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and health of all members of the PGA Tour. I am looking forward to recovering and I really hope to be back on the pitch as soon as possible.” These are the statements of Matsuyama, whose presence for the Open Championship (15-18 July in England), the fourth and last Major of 2021, is in doubt.

Rory McIlroy talks after arrival in County Kilkenny yesterday.

“The last time I was on the 18th green here was that prize-giving ceremony. Tiger Woods won and I somehow sneaked my way under the ropes on to the back of the green. I was standing right behind him and his glove was still in his back pocket. I could have reached out and got it and ran, that would have been a good story to tell. Obviously I didn’t. It was the first time I’d seen him play live. I still remember the first shot I saw him hit, the drive at the 5th, a par five. He hit 2-iron into the green. It was so cool. I’d idolised him growing up and to actually see the man in the flesh was pretty exciting.”

“I’d made a bit of a name for myself as an amateur by then and knew Chubby (Chandler) and Darren (Clarke) so I was in the clubhouse and got to chat to Ernie when he won. It’s amazing to think it’s been 17 year. Certainly a lot’s changed for me since the last time I was here. I might as well play the Scottish as well. My original plan up until last week was us to come as a family, play here, take a week off, which is now the Scottish Open, and play the Open. With me being a sports person the restrictions are not as heavy for me as they would be for Erica and Poppy. I felt it wasn’t fair to put them through what they’d have to go through to be here with me. The plans changed very quickly and we made the decision I travel on my own. I wasn’t going to go back to the States for a week inbetween the Irish and the Open, so if I’m here I might as well play the Scottish as well. It went very quickly from them coming, to not coming and then me playing three events in a row! If anything, it’s probably worked out for the best. It’ll be nice to get a tournament on a links course before going into Sandwich. I didn’t play for a week because I was spending time with the family before being away. So I can now get to work here and in Scotland”.