Hideki Matsuyama still coping with extra media attention on him since Masters triumph
"Seeing how the Masters win was portrayed in Japan was great, really unforgettable, and that really stands out for my trip back to Japan. It was a bit embarrassing. I'm not used to all that attention"
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 11/05/21 10:36pm
Hideki Matsuyama admitted he was "embarrassed, but grateful" as he came to terms with the added media attention on him in Japan since his Masters victory.
Matsuyama ensured sporting superstar status with his historic one-shot victory at Augusta National last month, after which he returned to his homeland and had to stay in quarantine for a fortnight before sharing his celebrations with the Japanese public.
The 29-year-old returns to competitive action this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson hoping to "find his game again" after practising only sporadically since his Masters win, and performing well on the course may come easier than dealing with his elevated celebrity in Japan.
"Probably the one thing that stands out is I got back to Japan and I was quarantined for two weeks and I was able to probably read every news article and newspaper and magazine and TV," said Matsuyama, the first Japanese man to win a major.
"And seeing how the Masters win was portrayed in Japan was great, really unforgettable, and that really stands out for my trip back to Japan. It was a bit embarrassing. I'm not used to all that attention, but grateful that people took notice.
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"I realise now the responsibility that goes with a major championship, especially the Masters. I'm honoured, I'm flattered by the added attention, but at the same time, sometimes it's difficult to say no.
"But it goes with the territory and, again, grateful that I have this opportunity and I'll try my best to prepare well for what's to come."
Matsuyama hinted that he is using this week to get in some valuable tournament golf ahead of the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island next week.
"After you win a tournament and you make some adjustments and you go on, but this time going back to Japan and really not picking up a club much over there, I didn't get to practice very much at all," he added.
"And then coming back here, and I'm just, really one of my goals now is just to try to find my game again and prepare for the PGA Championship next week