Matsuyama Defends Phoenix Open Title

Hideki Matsuyma is king of the desert for a second straight year.

The 24-year-old Japanese star defeated Webb Simpson on the fourth hole of a playoff Saturday to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He shot a 5-under 66 in the final round. Simpson came sprinting down the stretch, with three birdies in the final four holes for a round-best 64.

The final round drew 58,654 fans and a four-day total of 655,434, which blew away last year’s record of 618,365.

Matsuyama took advantage of the downfall of another Asian player, Korea’s Byeong Hun An. Hun An was up three strokes on Matsuyama, struck four bogeys on the back nine to drop out of the lead. He wound up in sixth place.

It’s Matsuyama’s fourth PGA title. he has won five worldwide events in the past 3-1/2 months and he’s the first player to defend the title at this even since Johnny Miller did it in 1974 and 1975.

He’s also the first player to win the same even two straight years in a row in a playoff since Nick Faldo did at The Masters did in 1989 and 1990.

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen finished third at 16-under. Rickie Fowler was fourth at 15-under.

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