January 10, 2023
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Waialae Country Club
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome our defending champion of the Sony Open in Hawaii, Hideki Matsuyama into the interview room. Hideki, thanks for joining us. If we can get you to take us back to last year, you closed 63, 63 on the weekend to win here at the Sony. Just get some comments.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Yes, to be honest, it was a little surprising that I was able to win last year. Waialae is on the of toughest golf course I feel like. Shooting 63 on the weekend is something I'm really happy with, so I'm really happy that I'm back here again.
THE MODERATOR: Now if you'll just comment on the state of your game coming into this week.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I been having a little trouble with my neck recently. I wasn't able to practice as much as I can for the last couple months, but the game is trending going forward.
So I can't expect too much, but I'm really looking forward to this week.
Q. It seems like since Bay Hill last year your neck has not felt great. Do you know exactly what is happening with it?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: It did happen last year at Bay Hill. It's been coming back and forth, especially last November, October, November. Every time I played golf it was -- the pain was coming back. So I've been working with the doctors, too, and I've been getting some good advice, so I feel like it's getting better and better.
Q. Is there a solution?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: First of all, rest is the key. And second of all, I think there was training that I wasn't doing that much, so by doing that it's helping me a lot.
Q. Didn't say to play tennis instead?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: (Smiling.)
Q. I know it's hard to compare, but if you could try to compare the nerves you felt playing the back nine at Augusta when you won compared with the nerves you felt speaking to everybody at the dinner?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I think the dinner was a lot -- I was a lot more nervous because I don't remember what I talked about during that dinner and I remember the back nine on Sunday at the Masters. So, yeah.
Q. Do you ever watch much video after you win? How much of the 3-wood did you watch last year?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: You know, that shot, I wasn't able to track that shot, so, you know, by watching that video I kind of know how good that shot was. It was good.
Q. What is going on in Japan when you've come through and have done great things, and then we've had Keita come through and do very well in the amateur, and now we have Semikawa win twice while still in college. What are your thoughts on that? And do you think -- let me stop there. What do you think about that?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: When I joined the tour it was when I was about 21, and recently lots of players graduating from college, they play really good on this tour.
You know, I feel really happy that lots young Japanese players are trying to come out here and trying to compete. You know, I'm happy that the last ten years, the things that I've been doing the last ten years, if it's affecting in a good way, I feel really happy.
Q. How can you tell what kind of an impact you're making on the younger generation? That make sense? I hope so.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I think it's something that it's hard to tell from my side, but I think the young generations are looking at what I'm doing, so I think that is something really important.
Q. Did they approach you?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Yes, you know, especially the players graduated from the same college. You know, I try to practice as much as I can, and a player like Yuto Katsuragawa who we practiced today together, you know, they have been contracting directly. So if there is a chance I'll try to make it, yeah.
Q. How do you feel about that?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Yeah, I'm happy. I don't try to -- I don't demand them to come to me. I'm just happy that they come to me.
Q. Do you ever play money games, games with them?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: No. I want to try, but no, there is no offer yet.
THE MODERATOR: All right, Hideki, thank you, sir.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports