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Home hero Hideki Matsuyama commits to Zozo Championship defence at Accordia Golf Narashino
Japan native and 2021 Zozo Championship winner Hideki Matsuyama has committed to defend his title at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba this October 13-16. Joining Matsuyama are Presidents Cup U.S. Team star Cameron Young, Norway’s Viktor Hovland and compatriot Satoshi Kodaira.
Matsuyama will also contend against nine of his Presidents Cup International teammates, including South Korea’s Sungjae Im and rising star Tom Kim, as he looks to become the first player to successfully defend his title at Japan’s lone PGA Tour event.
This latest wave of big names to sign up for the USD11 million showpiece includes the full list of top 60 automatic PGA Tour qualifiers and ensures another week of world-class golf as Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Xander Schauffele, two-time major winner Collin Morikawa, five-time tour winner Rickie Fowler, three-time tour winner Cameron Champ and European Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood were previously announced. Schauffele and Morikawa also featured in the recent Presidents Cup alongside Young for the victorious U.S. Team which defeated the International Team 17.5 – 12.5 at Quail Hollow Club.
Matsuyama, 30, captured his seventh career PGA Tour title by five strokes at the 2021 Zozo Championship at Narashino when the event triumphantly returned to its intended host country of Japan after being played in the U.S. in 2020 due to COVID-19. Just three months later, Matsuyama carried the momentum into his second win of the season, and eighth career PGA Tour title, at the Sony Open in Hawaii, equalling the record for most wins by an Asian golfer. The batch of victories came on the heels of his historic 2021 Masters title where he became the first Japanese golfer to win at Augusta National.
Making his debut in the Zozo Championship is Young, who has emerged as one of the most exciting young talents on the PGA Tour following five runner-up finishes in the 2021-22 season, including at the Open Championship at St. Andrews. The 25-year-old also finished third at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills and 19th at the Tour Championship.
Hovland, the World No. 11, finished 15th in the 2021-22 FedExCup final standings after securing a career third PGA Tour victory at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and four other top-10s, including a T4 at the Open Championship for his career first top-10 in a major. The 25-year-old was also victorious in the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour earlier in the year and was a member of the European Ryder Cup team in 2021. This will be his third appearance in the Zozo Championship.
Other International Team Presidents Cup members who will head to Japan include Si Woo Kim (South Korea), K.H. Lee (South Korea), Mito Pereira (Chile), Sebastián Muñoz (Colombia), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa), Corey Conners (Canada) and Cam Davis (Australia). Tom Kim emerged as one of the stars for the Internationals after delivering two points in his debut while Si Woo Kim was the top points earner with three points, including a singles victory over Justin Thomas.
The 78-player field will include the leading players from the 2021-2022 FedExCup Playoffs Points List, players designated by the Japan Golf Tour Organization, the winner of the 2022 BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup on the Japan Golf Tour and sponsor exemptions.