Lexus-sponsored professional golfer Hideki Matsuyama has made history as the first Japanese winner of one of the sport’s four major tournaments, taking victory in the 2021 Masters on Sunday (11 April).

Matsuyama’s landmark win was sealed at the final hole in the final round of the competition, which took place at its traditional home, the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA. Winning by a single shot with a 10-under-par score, he was duly accorded the honour of wearing the famous Green Jacket, reserved exclusively for the Masters’ victors.

The Masters is one of the four most prestigious tournaments in professional golf, known collectively as “The Majors.” It is the first to be held each year, during the second week of April, followed by the PGA Championship in May, the US Open in June and The Open Championship in the UK in July.

Matsuyama, 29, turned professional in 2013 and has been supported by Lexus since 2014. Commenting on his victory, he said: “I had been nervous all day since the morning (of the tournament’s final day) and I stayed nervous all the way to the end. I am glad I was able to play well in front of my family and friends in Japan. Although I hadn’t (until now) been able to win a Major, I have a feeling that my victory in The Masters will lead to a change in the mindset of young golfers in Japan as well. I want to win more and more. I appreciate you all. Thank you!”

Congratulating Matsuyama on his success, Akio Toyota, President, Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “Seeing you greeted by applause from so many members of the gallery when you secured your victory on the final hole, I, too, was overjoyed. You had continued taking up the challenge of fulfilling your dream of aiming for a win in the Majors. Although I don’t think the road to this point was an easy one, you kept up your passion for winning a Major, finally grasping victory.

“After you retrieved the ball, I watched as you shared your joy with your support staff. I was immensely impressed by the smiles on everyone’s face. I believe that your dream, before everyone realised it, had become the dream of many people. We are very happy to have been among those people. Sensing your flood of emotions in the ‘thank you!’ of your winner’s statement filled me, as well, with emotion.

“For the first win by a Japanese golfer in a Major championship, and for your continued effort no matter what, I would like to tell you from the bottom of my heart that is we who say, ‘thank you!’ I sincerely congratulate you!”.