Matsuyama looks to defend title in Phoenix

Hideki Matsuyama is one of the hottest properties in golf at the moment is eager to defend his title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week.

The Japanese superstar enjoyed a superlative end to 2016, which consisted of four wins from seven starts, with two runners-up finishes and a fifth place. This incredible run catapulted him up the rankings to fifth in the world. 

Now, Matsuyama is eager to get his first title defence of the season underway. Last year, two birdies got him into a playoff where he edged Rickie Fowler for the win.

"I'm not really sure whether it's the course, but I do know that the tremendous galleries that we have here just invigorates me and gets me going," the 24-year-old told USA Today.

"I love playing here.

"I have played well the last six months or so. I didn't have real good tournaments at Sony and Farmers, so I'm a little reluctant to say I'm in top form. But hopefully coming back to the desert, especially here in Scottsdale, it revitalised me. Hopefully, I'll be able to compete on Sunday for a repeat. 

"There are higher expectations, but, you know, in golf, it comes and goes. What I'm trying to do is be more consistent. I'd love to be able to compete every week, you know, to win.

"But I'm also trying, even when I'm not playing well, to be able to raise that level of my game to a point that I'm out there doing my best."

Matsuyama has a top ten finish in each of the majors but is hungry for that first major win in 2017. With the Masters at the Augusta just a few months away, he has already started preparing himself.

"The preparation has begun already, to be able to compete well there," he added.

"I still have some weak links in my game and I have to work on them. But hopefully I will do so, improve them, and someday I will be a major champion."

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