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The mystery woman behind Japan's history-making Masters champion

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Seen here, Hideki Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters to become Japan's first winner of a men's golf major.
Hideki Matsuyama spoke about his mysterious wife after his history-making Masters triumph. Pic: Getty

They say behind every great man is a great woman and the mysterious better half of Hideki Matsuyama was on the Japanese star's mind as he made golfing history at the Masters.

The Augusta National champion became Japan's first ever winner of a male golfing major, with his victory at the Masters just the second time an Asian player has won one of golf's four biggest trophies.

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After sealing the victory that made the 29-year-old the toast of an entire nation, the Japanese star soon reflected on his wife and child in a rare show of emotion about his private life.

“I was thinking about them all the way around today,” Matsuyama told reporters through his interpreter after the tournament.

“I’m really happy that I played well for them".

Matsuyama stunned the media in 2017 after revealing that he and wife Mei had gotten married in a secret January ceremony, with the couple welcoming a baby girl in July of the same year.

“No one really asked me if I was married, so I didn’t have to answer that question," Matsuyama said at the time, according to Golf.com.

"But I felt that after the PGA would be a good time, because our baby is born and I thought that would be a good time to let everyone know,” 

Not much is known about Matsuyama's wife although his PGA Tour profile lists her name as Mei and their daughter's name as Kenna.

Adding to the intrigue surrounding Matsuyama's private is the fact that his former caddie's name was Mei Inui - although it's unclear if she is the same Mei that the Japanese star is married to.

Pictured here, Hideki Matsuyama with caddie Mei Inui at the 2016 Hero World Challenge.
Hideki Matsuyama is seen here alongside caddie Mei Inui at the 2016 Hero World Challenge. Pic: Getty

Matsuyama had Mei Inui on his bag for the 2016 Hero World Challenge and previously spoke of her ability to keep him calm under pressure.

“When things get tough, I sometimes put my head down and become quiet,” Matsuyama said, according to USA Today. “But Mei was always positive throughout, even the back nine, and was giving me good vibes, which really helped coming in.”

Star's current caddie melts hearts at Masters

While Mei was nowhere to be seen at Augusta National on Sunday for Matsuyama's history-making feat, his current caddie Shota Hayafuji stole the show with a beautiful post-Masters gesture.

As is tradition for the winning caddie, Matsuyama's bag man Shota Hayafuji removed the flag from the 18th pin, before returning the flagstick on the iconic 18th green.

He then removed his hat and bowed in a superb act of respect for the illustrious course and the traditions it symbolises in the golfing world.

It was a brief but poignant act from the caddie that drew widespread praise from viewers on social media, with many describing it as their favourite moment of the entire tournament.

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with AAP

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