Young Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama aims high for US Open

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 7:19am


Japan's rising star Hideki Matsuyama, who has won two of the domestic tour's five events so far this year, believes he has a good chance to finish high at next week's US Open.

"I have this image that the US Open is quite tough," the 21-year-old Japan Tour leader, who turned professional only in April, said before leaving Tokyo for the major tournament to be held in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

But he recalled that fellow Japanese Koki Idoki, 51, became the first Asian to win a senior major tournament when he triumphed at the Senior PGA Championship on May 26 in his first trip to the United States.

"I think I have such a possibility, too. I set my target to make the cut, first of all, and then aim for a high spot," said the fourth-year university student, who has played in two majors - the US Masters in 2011 and 2012.

"Honestly speaking, I don't have much confidence," he said. "I want to learn a lot because it will be the first time for me out there."

Matsuyama, who plans to follow the example of Japanese star and fellow 21-year-old Ryo Ishikawa to become a US PGA regular, qualified for the US Open by topping the 36-hole qualifying session in Japan in late May.