Five shots behind at the turn, Hideki Matsuyama figured all he could do was keep his head down and try to stay in the game Sunday in the Sony Open.
And when he finally looked up, he couldn’t see one of the best shots of his career.
In a sudden-death playoff with Russell Henley, Matsuyama hit a 3-wood from 276 yards, right into the sun, and had no idea that it settled 3 feet away for eagle on the par-5 18th until he heard an enormous cheer from one of the largest galleries at Waialae.
“To be honest, I didn’t even see it,” Matsuyama said. “But everybody started cheering, and I knew it was good.”
Matsuyama, who made birdie on the 18th in regulation for a 7-under 63, won for the eighth time on the PGA Tour, tying him with K.J. Choi for most tour victories by an Asian-born player.