Hideki Matsuyama rattled after finishing well behind Brooks Koepka in Japan

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Hideki Matsuyama rattled after finishing well behind Brooks Koepka in Japan

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Hideki Matsuyama rattled after finishing well behind Brooks Koepka in Japan

The week certainly wasn’t what Hideki Matsuyama was hoping for, but the Japanese star offered a surprisingly gloomy take on his performance.

Matsuyama finished the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Miyazaki, Japan in solo fifth at 10 under, a distant 10 shots behind winner Brooks Koepka.

Of course Matsuyama is looking for wins, and aside from those two names (and Xander Schauffele, who finished T-2 at 11 under) this isn’t exactly a major championship-level field, and it was a tournament in Matsuyama’s home country.

So some disappointment makes sense, but Matsuyama was jarringly critical of his play after this performance.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Clearly, Matsuyama is not pleased.

And if you’re wondering whether he gave himself a break about finishing 10 back of Koepka (a major winner who could’ve had an especially hot week) Matsuyama offered himself no reprieve.

“I feel there’s a huge gap between us,” Matsuyama said.

It was about this time last year when Matsuyama was seemingly winning everything, and he ran away with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a final-round 61 just three months ago.

His game has hit a rough patch since, though, as he’s finished outside the top 20 in five of his last seven starts. But it is a bit alarming to hear Matsuyama so downtrodden when his previous high levels aren’t far in the rearview mirror.

It’s certainly interesting commentary from a guy who hasn’t even been playing poorly long enough to be considered in a slump. Then again, Matsuyama has always been a man of high expectations (See: His one-handed reactions to really good shots).

Whatever the case, Matsuyama is clearly flustered at the moment.

He’ll have some time to turn it around before 2018 starts, but currently Matsuyama appears more lost with his game than we had thought.

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