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April 8, 2014

Hideki Matsuyama


MODERATOR:テつ Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.テつ It is a real pleasure to welcome back Hideki Matsuyama to Augusta National in what will be his third Masters appearance and his first appearance here as a professional.
Hideki captured the 2010 and 2011 Asia‑Pacific Amateur Championship to earn his first two invitations to Augusta National and was low amateur in the 2011 Masters.テつ So far in the 2014 season, Hideki has recorded Top‑5 finishes at both the Fry's.com Open and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Hideki, welcome back to Augusta.テつ Would you mind telling us about the current state of your game and how it feels to return and how it feels to compete at Augusta National as a professional, and then we'll take questions from the press.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ I'm thrilled to be back to the Masters Tournament after a one‑year absence.テつ Especially to come back as a professional, it means a lot to me.

Q.テつ Would you compare your level of play, your game today, and what it was when you first came to Augusta, how you've improved, what you've improved on, please?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ As far as my golf game, probably the thing that has improved the most is‑‑ it's hard to explain but my heart, being able to hang in there and learn patience.テつ It's a thrill to be able to be back here at the Masters Tournament again.

Q.テつ There's a lot being said about all the young players, all the outstanding young players around the world, all with a chance to do well and win.テつ How do you feel about‑‑ you're one of those players, obviously, at your age, you're ranked 24th or 25th in the world.テつ How do you feel about your chances here this week?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Not only just the young people, but everybody in the field has a chance to win it.テつ I feel like I'm one of those, too, that has a chance.テつ All I can do now is just prepare the best I can the next couple of days, and see how it goes.

Q.テつ What are the main lessons that you learned from the two previous campaigns at Augusta National, and have you set yourself any specific target for this week?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ My two times here at Augusta National, I was lucky enough to win low amateur one of those years.テつ But it's different this year.テつ Coming back as a professional, it's a different feeling, a different type of nervousness.
And as far as a target, I guess that's what I'm trying to do now, overcome that nervousness being a professional and doing my best.

Q.テつ What is it about your game that fits particularly well on this golf course, because you were low amateur in your first attempt, you missed low amateur only by two shots, I believe, the second year you were here.テつ There's obviously something about the course, the feel, the look of the course, that suits you.テつ What exactly is that?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ I'm not really sure, to answer the first question.テつ The fairways here are wide, but it's also a shot‑maker's course and I feel like I have confidence in my shot‑making.テつ And if that's one of the reasons why I play well here, maybe that's it, and I'm trying to get back there.

Q.テつ How much do you think playing a full PGA TOUR schedule leading up to this event will help you this week, as opposed to coming here as an amateur, not having played on the PGA TOUR?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Probably the biggest help with playing on the PGA TOUR is being able to play with other professionals that are ranked very high in the world.テつ Being able to play with them, see how they play and see the level that I need to improve to be able to keep up with them.テつ That's probably the biggest help that being a professional on the PGA TOUR leading up to the Masters has been for me.

Q.テつ You did not play in the Masters last year, and not being here at Augusta National, has that given you motivation to get back here, and what are you looking forward to this week?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Very happy to be back here at Augusta National.テつ But it's not just happy to be back; now it's trying to win the tournament, is the goal at hand.

Q.テつ When you first played in the Masters, it was the same year as the earthquake and tsunami in the Sendai area where you're from, and now you're the only Japanese player in the field.テつ How can your play and being here at Augusta National give encouragement, lift the spirits of those who are still suffering the effects of that terrible catastrophe?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ During the earthquake and tsunami, I wasn't in Japan.テつ However, when I returned to Japan and the Sendai area, I saw the devastation.テつ I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to play in my first Masters.テつ But because of the encouragement that I received from those close to me in Sendai and the other people in Sendai, I felt that I should go.テつ And being low amateur was a direct effect of the people of Japan in the Sendai area rooting for me and encouraging me.テつ I felt their spirits throughout the event.
And now to come back, I hope I can‑‑ I don't know what my result is going to be, but I hope I can play my best to again lift the spirits of those back home in the Sendai area who are rooting and cheering for me.テつ I hope to be able to do my best.
MODERATOR:テつ Hideki, welcome back, again, to Augusta National, and play well.テつ Good luck and thank you for being with us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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