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Each year, there is a multitude of golfing events that take place both in the US and around the globe. The top golfing agency, PGA Tour Golf handle many of these competitions. In the world of golf, there are many honors that this company can give to professionals both young and old. In one of the most exciting and surprising events of last year, a fresh, young golfer got his first chance at glory. Let's take a look at the events that unfolded in June 2014.
History of the Memorial Tournament
First, let's talk a little about what the tournament is and who competes in it. Since 1976, the Memorial Tournament has been one of the biggest golfing tournaments in the world. One of the most highly anticipated events of the year, the tournament carries prestige. At the start of each event, there is an exciting opening ceremony that honors past golfers. The event takes place at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio - a club that has become famous for its many golfing events. The tournament is an 'invitational' event, which means that the officials handpick each of the golf pros who take part in it. That means that many of the golfers are new to the game, and thus have their first chance at international fame through the event.
Of course, PGA Tour Golf hosts the event that brings thousands of people to this region of Ohio. Only 120 players compete in this event, which is quite a low number when you consider that standard events host 156 golfers. There is no open qualifying in this event, which means that only certain golfers can compete in the rather intriguing game. The event takes place each June, in the height of summer.
Muirfield Village Golf Club
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The tournament takes place at the Muirfield Village Golf Club. With a mass of 220 acres of land, this golf course is as large as it is intricate. It currently ranks at number 17 in 'America's Greatest Courses'. The designer, Jack Nicklaus, took painstaking efforts to create the course, which opened in 1974. Since then, the course has become famous for both its layout, design, and difficulty level. It has 77 bunkers, which means that it is difficult to navigate at times. The 18-hole layout is consistent with many other golf course designs of the same era. That is to say that the golf course makes an ideal setting for many tournaments and events. Throughout the year, the venue plays host to many different competitions. Most notably, it is the home of the Memorial Tournament.
The course opened on May 27, which, as you should know, is Memorial Day. The first game on the green was an exhibition match between Nicklaus and Weiskopf. Since that fateful day, the place has stayed in the top twenty list. It is for this reason that many golfers travel to Ohio each year to take a peek at the interesting site.
Who is Hideki Matsuyama?
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Last year, Hideki Matsuyama got his first big shot at an American win, but who is he? Hailing from Japan, this young man gave every golfer a run for their money when he appeared in the competition last year. One of the fresh faces in the golfing world, last year he was just 22 years old when he competed. He was virtually unknown in the field before this time, which made it ever-more exciting to watch when he played. This achievement was not his first taste of glory, though; he had gained fame in Asia. Back in 2010, he won the Asian Amateur Championship, which was a sure sign of things to come. His final score at that time was an impressive 68-69-65-67=269.
Hideki started golfing at the tender age of just 18 years old. Since then, he has risen to fame both in his native home, Japan, and here in the US. In 2011, he competed in the World University Games and won a gold medal. At this point, he was still an amateur golfer, yet it was clear to see that he would one day achieve great things. Later that same year, he went on to win the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters. At this point, he was still learning his craft, yet could outsmart and out-golf many of the masters of the game. The following year he finally reached number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. This achievement was both unsurprising and well-deserved.
It was not until 2013 that Hideki turned professional. As we have already mentioned, he had already won many awards and tournaments before he made the move to turn pro. In that year, he reached the top ten in the 2013 US Open competition. It was not until last year, though, that the Japanese star won his first big American tournament.
Highlights from the 2014 event
Don't let his success fool you - the event was not all smooth sailing for the young golfer. On the 16th hole, he shot his ball straight into the water, earning him a penalty. After that, he managed to score a double bogey. In sheer anger, the young man hit his club into the ground, and the head broke off. It would appear that Hideki has the same temperament as many other pro golfers.
Two golfers left many of the competitors far behind, and the game came down to them. Kevin Na completed his round about two hours before his counterpart. According to all reports, at this point, he was pretty confident of his lead. Despite his ego, the end of the game saw Hideki and Na with equal scores. They both finished on 13 under par.That meant that the pair had to compete in a head-to-head playoff. At this point, they replayed the 18th hole in a sudden death situation. Hideki managed to complete the hole with a score of par - 4. Beating one of the best golfers in the tournament, Kevin Na, who refused to comment to the media. He failed to achieve the same or lower score as the Japanese newcomer. One of the reporters managed to catch up with the player in the parking area, and Na said that Hideki had done well to win the tournament.