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ASIAN AMATEUR: The biggest win last week might have come in Japan, when Asian Amateur champion Hideki Matsuyama rallied on the back nine and closed with an eagle for a 68 to win the Taiheiyo Masters by two shots.

The 19-year-old became only the third amateur to win on the Japan Golf Tour, and he beat a field that included Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Ryo Ishikawa.

“I wanted to be just the low amateur here, but to my surprise, I won,” Matsuyama said. “The experience of playing at the Masters, the biggest stage of all in golf, has helped me play as usual even in an intense final round like today.”

Matsuyama tied for 27th at Augusta National this year. As winner of the Asian Amateur, an event sponsored by Augusta National and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, he will return to the Masters in April.


DIVOTS: Rickie Fowler suddenly has a busy end to his season. He plans to play next week in the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum, before returning across the Pacific for the Chevron World Challenge. … The Scottish Open will return next year to Castle Stuart, where Luke Donald won in an even shortened to 54 holes because of rain. Still to be determined is finding a title sponsor for the tournament after Barclays decided not to renew.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Seven players on the International team at the Presidents speak English as a second language _ Ryo Ishikawa (Japanese); Y.E. Yang, K.J. Choi and K.T. Kim (Korean); and Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel (Afrikaans).


FINAL WORD: “Anybody that … jumped off that wagon, they jumped off way too quick. I have a feeling he’s going to make people eat their words.” _ John Cook on Tiger Woods.