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October 30, 2016

Hideki Matsuyama

Shanghai, China

LAURY LIVSEY: Ladies and gentlemen, we would like to welcome 2016 World Golf Championships - HSBC Champion Hideki Matsuyama into the interview room. Seated next to me is his interpreter, Bob Turner.

This is Hideki's 10th career win, his third on the PGA TOUR, which ties him with Shigeki Maruyama for most wins in PGA TOUR history. He's won and has a second and a win in his last three starts, and is now the FedExCup points leader. He's also the first Asian to win a World Golf Championships event.

LAURY LIVSEY: Hideki, would you just talk about your day? A great win for you. Got to be really exciting.

HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I was really nervous at the start of the day, but I was able to birdie hole No. 1. Kind of got myself into the rhythm of the day, and after that, it was smooth sailing.

Q. What does it mean to be the first Asian winner of a World Golf Championships?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: You know, I knew Y.E. Yang won the PGA Championship, and actually, I was surprised when they announced that I was the first Asian to win a WGC event.

Q. After playing so beautifully, fantastic golf, suddenly after you hit into the water at 18, what were you thinking? Any negative thoughts, or nothing?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: To tell you the truth, I was trying to make my 30th birdie of the week, and that's why I got into a little bit of trouble. But I was glad to be able to get up-and-down and make par.

Q. You were leading the tournament right from the second day. Can you tell us how you feel now about being on the leaderboard all three days, or being on top of the leaderboard all three days and how it feels to win?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: You know, I really don't know why I played well this week. The last three years, I've had to withdraw twice, and I've also had to, and I didn't play very well the other year.

But I got off to a good start. I really didn't make any changes to my golf swing or anything. But I have putted really well these last three weeks, and that's probably the difference. I did play well today. I hit the ball a lot better. But putting was the difference this week.

Q. You seemed to stay remarkably calm all through the week, and no more so than today's round, especially on what seemed to be a key hole, which was No. 8, where you got into a bit of trouble, but nevertheless, walked off with a par. How important was it to stay calm, and that par on 8 today?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: No. 8 was a very important hole for me. But even prior to that, No. 4, the par putt I made at 4 really kept the round going.

The eighth hole, though, I didn't hit a very good second shot. I should have been a little bit more calmer and put it in the fairway like I should have, but I didn't. But I was able to get it out from there, knock it on and make my par putt. From then on, the round became a lot easier. 8 was a turning point.

Q. To win a WGC event at such a young age, what would be your next target?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Winning today, I feel has got me closer to being able to compete a lot better in the major tournaments, and so my next goal is, of course, to win a major, and I'm going to do all that I can to prepare well for that.

Q. Now it was said that you have tied the most-win records on PGA TOUR for Japanese players, but compared with the previous generation of Japanese golfers, it was so tough for them to win a PGA TOUR event. But now, at such a young age, you have already tied the record. Can you compare what's the difference between your generation now and the previous generation of Japanese golfers?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: That's a tough question to answer. But Shigeki Maruyama is a good friend of mine, and he always said that I was going to pass his records. But at least I've tied him now. That was a great honor, because I have great respect for him.

Q. There are six Chinese golfers participating in this year's WGC-HSBC Champions. Do you have any special moments with them?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: There were six Chinese players that played this week, and I'm sorry, I don't know all of them. However, I do know some of the pros from China who have played in some of the majors, especially in the Masters. They are tremendous players. Chinese golf has a bright future. It won't be very long until there is going to be a Chinese player that will compete for a major title.

Q. What was the club on No. 1 and No. 15?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: The second shot was 8-iron on 1. 15 was a 9-iron.

Q. What's the big deal with 30 birdies? Is there something special about that number?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Well, no special with the number, except I made 19 birdies the first few days, so then I was thinking, well, if I make 11 more, I can win. So that was kind of my goal all week was to get to 30 birdies.

Q. When you hit into the hazard and got on to the green, you went the last 45 holes without a bogey, which was pretty good. Were you determined not to make bogey?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I knew, someone said yesterday, there had been 27 holes without a bogey. And so I was thinking, I wonder how long I can go without making a bogey. And I kind of wish I would have made a bogey earlier because then I probably could have made more birdies, but that's golf.

Q. Who at home do you want to talk to most about your win, and why?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Of course it's my parents. They have done so much for me and I owe them so much and I'm so grateful for them. They are the ones I want to be able to call first and tell them I won.

Q. The tournament record is 24-under, and you were coming into 18 at 23-under. You went for it in two. Did the tournament record come into your mind at all at that point?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: No, that's news to me. I didn't know that. That would have been added pressure, but I was just really trying to make my 30th birdie.

Q. I was talking to your caddie, Daisuke, just now, and he's the happiest man in the world right now. We know he's a big part of your game. So what does he mean to you, this victory, and your career?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: You know, Daisuke, we're very close, as well as all of our team members. I feel an obligation to play well for them, for everyone. So I'm happy I was able to accomplish that today.

Q. Will you still be changing your clubs and going back to your old clubs?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: To answer your question, yes, probably I'll go back to my original clubs. I did use a new driver this week. It wasn't the reason I won, because I did use other clubs, too, this week.

But to answer your question, probably I will go back to my original.

LAURY LIVSEY: Our 2016 WGC - HSBC Champion, Hideki Matsuyama.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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