By Alex Miceli
Las Vegas oddsmakers installed Hideki Matsuyama as a 10-1 choice to win his first major championship this spring at the Masters after his playoff victory Sunday in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The Westgate LV Superbook still lists Jordan Spieth as the favorite at 8-1, but Matsuyama and Jason Day are co-No. 2 picks at 10-1 for the April 6-9 tournament.
Matsuyama, who will turn 25 on Feb. 25, has played in five previous Masters tournaments, including top-10 finishes in the past two years at Augusta National Golf Club: fifth in 2015 and a T-7 last year. Matsuyama, of Japan, has won five times in his past nine starts worldwide and stands No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
South Korea’s K.J. Choi recorded the best finish by an Asian-born player in the Masters when he placed third in 2004. Y.E. Yang, also a South Korean, is the only native Asian to have won a major championship. He outdueled Tiger Woods to win the 2009 PGA Championship.
Alex Miceli is the founder and publisher of Morning Read.