December 2 2013
With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Check out this preview of No. 29 Hideki Matsuyama and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 to watch in 2014.
NO. 29 PLAYER TO WATCH: HIDEKI MATSUYAMA
2014 OUTLOOK: For a player who made just seven starts on the PGA TOUR in 2013, Hideki Matsuyama certainly didn't waste any of them. The 21-year-old Japanese sensation finished outside the top 20 just twice (and one of those was a tie for 21st) and acquitted himself well in his first Presidents Cup. He might be new to the PGA TOUR but Matsuyama isn't a stranger to success having won five times on the Japan Tour and winning the money title as a rookie in 2013 after a successful amateur career than included winning the 2010 Asian Amateur. How it all translates to his first full season on the PGA TOUR, we'll see. But there's nothing in his game that indicates anything but more of the same from Matsuyama, who has done nothing but play well at every level. -- Brian Wacker
THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Matsuyama finished third at the Frys.com Open and added a T25 at th CIMB Classic before having to withdraw from the WGC-HSBC Champions.
The 21-year-old set the world on fire in 2013 and contended in just about every tournament in which he competed. No longer a sleeper in fantasy circles, we'll keep our fingers crossed that he's prepared for the grind. There's no evidence to suggest that he isn't. -- Rob Bolton
|ON THE MARK
Hideki is the perfect animation of the new breed of golfer. He is powerfully built, hits the ball hard and plays aggressively and with a lot of purpose. As impressive a ball-striker as he is I believe his proficiency with the putter is probably his greatest attribute. At this year’s Presidents Cup, Matsuyama drew high praise from his partner and teammate Adam Scott, and that is enough to fortify me as a real believer. -- Mark Immelman
I watched him play at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational when paired with Tiger Woods and he did not flinch in the spotlight. He bangs his putts into the back of the cup with a very confident stroke that eliminates any break. I would think Waialae at the Sony Open in Hawaii is a good match for his game. -- Fred Albers
|INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The 21-year-old won the money title on the Japan Tour this season. He also ranked first in scoring average (69.40), second in greens in regulation (70.77 percent) and 10th in putting average (1.75). Will look to build on his third-place finish at the 2013-14 Frys.com Open. -- Bill Cooney