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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Hideki Matsuyama
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Matsuyama has been the model of consistency in his eight years on the PGA Tour, but surprisingly, he's had just one really impressive year. Surprising because Matsuyama is often thought as one of the best players in the world and yet he has surpassed $5 million in earnings just once. His 2019-20 season was much like most of his seasons on the PGA Tour, very productive, but not elite. Perhaps an elite season is on the horizon, but to expect that this season is just pure speculation.
Six years into his PGA Tour career, it's beginning to look like Matsuyama is destined to be a really good golfer instead of an elite golfer. He had an elite season in 2017, when he won three events and topped $8 million in earnings, but prior to that and since then, he's settled-in around $4 million per season. Last season he failed to even get to $4 million, which puts him in-play as salary cap option this season, but don't expect another $8 million season.
What a strange and ultimately frustrating season for Matsuyama. Matsuyama's year started just fine, with a T4 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and a T12 at the Farmers, but it all started to fall apart with because of a wrist injury at the Waste Management Open. It's an event that he had won the previous two seasons and not only did he not win there, but his wrist would hamper his production for much of the season. He did start to find some momentum near the end of the season, but his game had become wildly erratic by then. Frustrating for owners who had Matsuyama last season for sure, but the upside is, he's available at a discount price this season. As such, Matsuyama is very close to a must-have this season as he's averaged over $6 million per season in the two seasons leading up to last season.
Matsuyama ranked 173rd in strokes-gained on the greens last season and he still made more than $8 million. Let that sink in, he was one of the worst putters on the PGA Tour and he still managed to earn more than all but three golfers last season. It gives you an idea of how well Matsuyama strikes the ball that he can score without the aid of a putter most weeks. Now, here's the tricky part, it would be easy to assume he's going to improve his putting, but curing putting woes is never a given. If he does fix his putting, he has enough firepower to significantly improve on his enormous number from last season. If he doesn't fix the putter, he simply can't perform any better than he did last season. As such, it's probably wise to pass on Matsuyama in salary cap leagues this season.
Matsuyama made the cut in 13 of 16 starts, recorded seven top-10s, scored one victory and earned over $4 million, all the while ranking 125th in stokes gained from putting. Imagine what he could have accomplished if he'd putted with any kind of competence last season? With that in mind, Matsuyama makes for an interesting salary cap option this year because his ceiling should be in the range of someone like Adam Scott, who happened to make nearly $6.5 million last year. In draft leagues, Matsuyama is a first-round selection.
Matsuyama entered the 2014 season with a lot of expectations, and for the most part, he didn't disappoint. Matsuyama is actually one of only a few players over the past decade that have lived-up to early expectations, which can only mean that great things lie ahead. The only problem with Matsuyama is his high number from last season. He's probably worth the risk in salary cap leagues, but at nearly $3 million he can't be considered a "must-have". In draft leagues he should go late in the 2nd or early in the 3rd round.
Matsuyama shocked the golf world by winning FedEx Cup playoff event a few years back, but it's been all down hill since. Upside appears limited.
More Fantasy News
T46 at Caves Valley
Matsuyama closed with a one-under 71 on Sunday at the BMW Championship to finish nine-under and tied for 46th.
Misses cut at Wyndham
Matsuyama carded a two-day total of two-under at the Wyndham Championship to miss the cut by one stroke.
Comes up short in Memphis
Putter ends chances at medal
Matsuyama missed out on the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Golf Competition after losing in a seven-way playoff.