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Matsuyama ready for new challenge in Shanghai

Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama is ready for a new challenge at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai this week.

NEWS
25 Oct 2017, 13:50 IST
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Hideki Matsuyama at the CIMB Classic

Hideki Matsuyama returns to the scene of his biggest triumph this week and admits there is a different pressure on him in Shanghai.

Matsuyama produced a stunning final round at the WGC-HSBC Champions 12 months ago to win by seven shots from Daniel Berger and Henrik Stenson.

Matsuyama was in fine form throughout the week at the Sheshan Golf Club as he carded rounds of 66, 65 and 68 before another 66 saw him finish the tournament 23 under.

He added another two titles in the season – the most prolific of his career – and knows heading back to Shanghai presents him with a new challenge.

"It is different coming back as defending champion," said the 25-year-old, who is aiming to become just the third player after Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson to win successive WGC events following his triumph at the Bridgestone Invitational in August.

"I don't want to put a lot of pressure or expectation on myself, I just want to let the tournament come to me, like it did last year.

"All I can do is try to play my best and hopefully I will play well."

Despite his breakthrough year, Matsuyama acknowledges he is far from the finished product and is focused on improving his consistency in the coming campaign.

"To stay on top and continue on top, I am still learning how to do that," added Matsuyama when asked how he can enhance his game.

"That's one of my goals and one of the things that I'm working on now is to be able to stay on top of my game."

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