Grading the Memorial Tournament

More Golf: Leaderboard | Rankings | Schedule | Equipment | FedEx Cup | US Open

It's fitting that on the week of the National Spelling Bee, a golfer whose name approximately 1 percent of casual golf fans can spell correctly would win in his first try at the Memorial Tournament.

Hideki Matsuyama. 

Language of origin, please? Japanese.

Meaning of the word? Badass.

Could you use that in a sentence? Hideki Matsuyama is a badass.

Matsuyama birdied the final hole at Muirfield Village on all four days of competition (the first ever to do that) and did so on Sunday knowing he needed the birdie to get into a playoff with Kevin Na.

Oh, and he'd just snapped his driver on the tee box at the 18th hole.

He made the birdie, though, and then made par in the first playoff hole to hold off Na.

If you aren't familiar with the name, by the way, you need to hit the books because the kid is going to be a star. Nick Faldo called him a "future megastar" after his triumph on Sunday.

Just 22 years of age and already with three top 20s (and two top 10s) in majors, this is Matsuyama's first win on US soil.

"It's a dream come true to win here at Mr. Nicklaus' golf course" he told CBS' Peter Kostis after the win. "It couldn't be better."

Matsuyama's 69 held off Bubba Watson who shot 72 and Adam Scott who shot 71. It was Na who had the round of the day with a 64 and then waited to watch the leaders finish up. 

That finish produced quite a train wreck. Watson nearly hit a dog in somebody's backyard on the 15th hole, Scott shot a 39 (with two birdies) coming in, and Matsuyama...well Matsuyama just hung on for dear life.

Here's how his last six holes went: birdie, bogey, birdie, double bogey, bogey, birdie. His scorecard looked like a child's drawing -- every shape and color was represented.

But as his playing partner Adam Scott knows, it's always best to birdie the last. Matsuyama did and in doing so became the first Japanese-born player under 30 to win on the PGA Tour.

A stunning stat, really, when you remember that he's only 22.

"I'm really, really happy," said Matsuyama after winning.

There are lots of other golfers who really, really aren't because Hideki Matsuyama has arrived and he's going to be great.

Here are our grades for the Memorial Tournament:

A Hideki Matsuyama could have replaced his driver on the first playoff hole after busting it on the last regulation hole but chose to stick with his 3-wood. It paid off. Finish: Win
A Adam Scott doesn't seem to have a lot go wrong in his life but Sunday did not go very well. He shot an OK 71 but 39 coming in with three bogeys and a double. It was there for the taking and he didn't take it. Finish: T4
A Bubba Watson is now 0 for 5 with a solo 54-hole lead. Sunday was ugly but that doesn't take away from the elite year he has been having. Finish: 3rd
B I don't know what to do with Rory McIlroy's tournament. It's only his second finish outside the top 10 all season on the PGA Tour and he opened with a 63. Strange stuff from the US Open favorite. Finish: T15
C Phil Mickelson should get an 'A' for the circumstances he was playing under (an FBI investigation) but Phil Mickelson is one of the 12 best golfers ever and he's probably used to playing under more bizarre circumstances. Finish: T49
F Cause for concern for Justin Rose as he tries to defend his US Open crown. He always plays well at this tournament but went 73-72 this year to miss the cut. Finish: Missed Cut

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
CBS Sports Shop
2016 PGA Championship Apparel
Our Latest Stories