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Hideki Matsuyama scorched Firestone shooting a final round 61 to win the WGC-Bridgestone. The win is the 25-year-old's sixth in the last 12 months and his second World Golf Championship of the season. The Sunday 61 gave Matsuyama a five shot win over Zach Johnson. The runner-up was Johnson's best finish since his 2015 Open Championship win. Full scores
The win moves Matsuyama into the clear position of best 20 something without a major. At age 25, Matsuyama now has 14 worldwide wins and six-top 10s at major championships. This week, he will continue his quest to become the first Japanese born player to win a major at Quail Hollow. Matsuyama has made three career starts at the long-time Wells Fargo host, making the cut in all three with two top 20 finishes.
Another young star
Former Illinois star Thomas Pieters entered Sunday holding the 54-hole with Zach Johnson. The 25-year-old Belgian was looking for his first win stateside and of 2017 but struggled to a 71. The tough final round moved him into fourth place and marked his fourth top five of 2017. Pieters strong play was powered by his ball striking which ranked second for the week. Given his prodigious power and precise iron play, he has to be on a short list of favorites at Quail Hollow.
Knocking on the door
Charley Hoffman finished in third place at the WGC earning his fourth top 10 finish in his last six starts. On the 16th hole, Hoffman made a few new fans by going for the green in two and remarking to his caddie "I'm tired of finishing second." Hoffman has contended in all three majors this year and will head to the PGA Championship in top form.
Rounding into form
Rory McIlroy posted a t5th finish in his first start without long-time caddie J.P. Fitzgerald. McIlroy's game looked sharp, especially off the tee where he set a record with 52 drives over 300 yards.
The bubble boys
At the PGA Tour's Barracuda Championship, Chris Stroud won his first PGA Tour title. Stroud beat out Richy Werenski and Greg Owen in a playoff and locked up his 2017-2018 card in the process. With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the event was big for players on the top 125 bubble. Werenski's runner-up moved him from 154th to 122nd in the FedEx Cup. Another big mover included Sam Saunders who finished eighth and moved from 136th to 127th. Currently, the top 125 is projected to fall at 363 FedEx Cup points.
Five years ago, I.K. Kim missed a 14 inch putt to win a major championship. This week she earned redemption, winning her first major at the Women's British Open. Kim's final round 71 gave her a two shot win and her third win of 2017. Kim now has the most wins of any player in 2017 and moved to ninth in the world rankings.
A six-time winner
Martin Piller won the Ellie Mae Classic to earn his sixth career Web.com Title. Piller's win came at the right time as it moved him from 105th on the money list to 24th and in position to regain his PGA Tour card. Piller finished one better than Brandon Harkins who also made a big move, going from 43rd to 21st on the money list.
The story of the week from the Web.com Tour was NBA star Stephen Curry who fired 74-74. The 2-time MVP's performance exceeded expectations and brought new eyes to the tour. Curry finished better than three pros and fellow amateur Colt McNealy for the week. Hopefully, Curry's passion for the game can drive increased participation from the youth.
A star in the making
18-year-old Norman Xiong continued his hot play and won the Western Amateur. Xiong is the first player to sweep the stroke and match play portions of the championship since Chris Williams in 2012. Xiong's championship win came in extra holes over fellow Sophomore to be Doc Redman. Xiong will tee it up next at this week's U.S. Amateur.
The price is right
Augusta National struck a deal to purchase land from its neighbor Augusta Country Club. The clubs have long been in negotiations regarding the land that borders Amen Corner. The land is currently Augusta C.C.'s eighth and ninth holes and will now allow ANGC to add distance to the iconic par five 13th. The value of the deal is unknown, but Augusta C.C. reportedly turned down a $25 million offer in the spring. Earlier this year, Curt Sampson profiled Augusta Country Club and the negotiations.