The top amateur at the Masters this weekend was Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. The 19-year-old Matsuyama is a student at Tohoku Fukushi University, which happens to be in Sendai, the area hardest hit by the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Now that his work at the Masters is over, Matsuyama plans to return to Sendai on Monday and join relief efforts. At the time of the quake Matsuyama was practicing in Australia, and after seeing the devastation, he questioned whether or not he should even attend the Masters.
Matsuyama was the only amateur to make the cut this weekend and his 68 on Saturday was the lowest round by an amateur since 2001, when James Driscoll equaled that total in the first round. Matsuyama shot a 74 on Sunday, but his birdie on the 18th put him at one-under for the tournament. He finished the weekend with a 287, the lowest score for an amateur since Ryan Moore had the same total in 2005.
Matsuyama earned his trip to the Masters by winning the Asian Amateur last October. Obviously he made the most of his time at Augusta.
On top of Matsuyama’s efforts, fellow Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa will donate his $93,200 winnings from this weekend to the relief effort. Ishikawa announced on March 30 that he will donate all of his 2011 tour earnings to the relief effort.
It’s hard not to appreciate the dedication of guys like Matsuyama and Ishikawa. Hopefully their contributions can make a difference in Japan.