Hero World Challenge Highlights: Tiger Woods Return Stirs Up Excitement

The 2016 Hero World Challenge held at Albany in the Bahamas ended on Sunday with 24-year old Japanese Hideki Matsuyama taking home the title after he beat Swedish player, Henrik Stenson.  

This is Matsuyama’s fourth title in the last two months. Recently, the Asian player won the Japan Open, the WGC-HSBC champions and the Taiheiyo Masters before bagging the Hero World Challenge Title last Sunday.

Matsuyama who claims he is not a very good player has definitely proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. At the Hero Word Challenge tournament, he won by two strokes and finished 18-under par 270 taking home $1million.

Matsuyama became the first Asian to take home the World Golf Championships- HSBC champions title. This is his third official PGA tour win and now has eight Japan Tour wins.

Matsuyama, when asked if he is the best in Japan, the young Asian player responded by saying:

“There’s been some great golfers in Japan. Just to name a few, Jumbo Ozaki, Isao Aoki, Shigeki Maruyama, Tsuneyuki Nakajima.” And to be able to follow in their footsteps is a great honor. And then to come to the PGA TOUR and learn from really the best golfers in the world, it’s really helped my game.”  

“I’m grateful for all of their help. But to answer your question, I’m not the greatest golfer from Japan

One thing is for sure, Matsuyama may soon enough join the ranks of greats like Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy.

Tiger Woods on the other hand finished 15th closing with a 4-under 248. His return to competitive golf after a 15-month long break was highly anticipated by many people including his fans who wanted to see how well he was going to play.

Like always, Tiger Woods did not disappoint. He may not have won the title, but he definitely brought his A-game finishing with the most number of birdies – 24 to be precise.

This year’s Hero World Challenge tournament drew more viewers this year than last year when Woods was not playing. According NBC, the viewer ratings were up by 190 percent. This just goes to show that Tiger Woods is still the game’s biggest draw.

Tiger Woods world rankings also went up after the Hero World Challenge. Woods who was ranking at number 898 in the world rankings moved to number 650. Even more positives for Woods, his odds for winning the upcoming 2017 Masters greatly improved. Before the Hero World Challenge event started his odds were 40-1, but after finishing 15th place his odds shot up to 20-1.

But does golf need Woods?

Well, whether golf needs Woods or not, he definitely brings some positivity and excitement to the game. But since his long absence, we have seen many golf superstars thrive and flourish since Woods’s recent decline. Rory Mcllroy, Jason Day, Jordan Speith and Dustin Johnson are some of the most entertaining golf sensations. Rickie Folwer, Hideki Matsuyama and Brooks Koepka are some of the young golfers that are also bringing plenty of excitement in the sport. And these bunch of young golf players are rapidly climbing the golf world rankings list. So one thing is clear, Woods is not the only game in town.

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