Golf

Japanese golfer Matsuyama’s US Masters win worth $805m

That is the amount Japanese golfer, first from his country to win Masters, could earn from endorsements

Hideki Matsuyama's historic victory at the US Masters last Sunday could be worth US$20 million (S$26.8m) per year in endorsements, a sports marketing expert told Sportico for a story published yesterday.

Bob Dorfman told sports business publication Sportico that Matsuyama, the first Japanese player to win a men's golf Major, could earn US$600m (S$805m) in endorsements, in total, over the rest of his life.

"Barring any career-ending injury or scandal, I'd say a Masters win is easily worth US$600m for Matsuyama," Dorfman of Baker Street Advertising said.

"He'll be an icon in his golf-mad country."

Matsuyama, 29, won the Masters by one stroke over Will Zalatoris and took home a prize purse of US$2.07m.

He was also the first Japanese amateur to play at the Masters in 2011.

"The Masters win is a game-changer," Bill Sanders, who managed the marketing career of Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, told Sportico.

"Japan has a long history of endorsement deals with Hollywood actors and athletes. The upside might be limited in the US, but it should be an enormous windfall in Japan."

Sanders downplayed Matsuyama's language barrier.

"English doesn't really matter for a full page ad in GQ," Sanders said.

Matsuyama has career earnings of US$33.3m on the golf course since turning pro in 2013.

Meanwhile, Billy Horschel apologised for his conduct at the Masters, where the US PGA Tour professional got more attention for his bare feet than his play.

Horschel, who stumbled to a 50th-placed finish at Augusta, following a four-over 76 on Sunday, referenced his fiery behaviour without mentioning a specific incident.

HORSCHEL SLAMS IRON

At one point during his wayward round on Sunday, he could be seen slamming an iron back into his bag multiple times.

"I apologise to Augusta National, the members of the Club and to the patrons for any conduct that may have crossed the line," Horschel said in the second of consecutive apology posts on Twitter.

"I am always trying to improve and do better; as a golfer, husband, father, or as a human being. Thank you #TheMasters for a memorable week!"

Twice during the year's first Major, Horschel went shoeless to hit his ball out of a watery lie.

He saved par at 13 on Saturday with a chip shot of a completely submerged ball near the green.

He also slipped near the green while barefoot on Saturday, asking playing partner Phil Mickelson if the back of his pants was grass stained. - REUTERS

"Barring any career-ending injury or scandal, I'd say a Masters win is easily worth US$600m for Matsuyama. He'll be an icon in his golf-mad country."

- Sports marketing expert Bob Dorfman on Hideki Matsuyama's historic victory at the Masters

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