We last saw Hideki Matsuyama hoisting the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP trophy in mid-October, his second victory in 2021. That first triumph came earlier in the year when Matsuyama became the first Japanese PGA professional to win the Masters and slip on the green jacket. Let’s peek into our crystal ball and see if the 29-year-old can accomplish a rare feat and repeat as Masters champion in 2022 so you can plan your bets against The Masters odds.
Really Early 2022 Masters Tournament Expert Analysis | PGA Tour Betting
Masters week begins on Monday, April 4th, and concludes on Sunday, April 10th. Next year’s tournament will be the 86th edition of one of golf’s most prestigious events. The tournament is one of the PGA’s four major championships and is the only one of the four not to rotate venues yearly.
With the weight of an entire country on his shoulders, the seven-time winner of the PGA Tour always seemed to be burdened by the expectations put forth to become the first from his country to win a major. Matsuyama was consistently inconsistent with the short stick, and before his victory at Augusta, hadn’t won a tournament since 2017.
Matsuyama began 2020 ranked 20th in the world, a far cry from the height of his PGA career when he was a top-10 player in 2016 and 2017, reaching as high as second in June of 2017. Currently, he sits at 18th in the world.
His play all came together over four days at Augusta, highlighted by a third-round seven-under that vaulted him into a four-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round. Matsuyama wasn’t perfect on Sunday, shooting a one-over 72, but he held off Will Zalatoris to earn his first major championship and first win in nearly four years.
Strong Course History
Looking into the history a bit for Matsuyama and the Masters, the defending champion has had a lot of historical success on this course. Matsuyama won the Silver Cup for Low-Am in his tournament debut here in 2011 and has posted five top-20s over his previous six starts at Augusta National Golf Club.
Statistically, his scrambling ability and greens in regulation rankings play a significant role in his consistent success at Augusta. In five of the last seven Masters tournaments he’s played in, he’s finished in the top-10 in scrambling.
Matsuyama has course history, course knowledge, and now the weight off his shoulders to contend again in 2022. The victory in the fall at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP showed that we could expect a lot more from him next year.
Oddsmakers like his chances to repeat as well. Matsuyama is +2800 to take home the title again, 12th-best currently. The current favorite is Jon Rahm (+850), who claimed his first major in 2020 and will aim for his first green jacket in 2021. If Matsuyama can continue to improve his gameplay between now and April, expect him to contend again for the green jack come Sunday.
Only three players in the history of the Masters Tournament have won it in back-to-back seasons and none in over twenty years. Those players include Tigers Woods (2001-02), Nick Faldo (1989, 90), and Jack Nicklaus (1965-66).
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