After a month off, new Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama returns at AT&T Byron Nelson

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One month to the day since he won the Masters, Hideki Matsuyama faced the media again at the AT&T Byron Nelson as he prepared to make his long-awaited return to competition.

Following his momentous victory at Augusta National, Matsuyama boarded a flight back to Japan and had to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. In his hotel room he watched some highlights from the final round, feeling the nerves all over again, and read every newspaper and magazine story written about his win. Matsuyama became the first Japanese male to win a major.

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“Seeing how the Masters win was portrayed in Japan was great, really unforgettable,” he said Tuesday, through his interpreter, “and that really stands out from my trip back to Japan.”

Matsuyama said he spent time with his wife and daughter, as well as his parents, and wore the green jacket twice in public: at a press conference with reporters and while receiving an award from the prime minister of Japan.  

Matsuyama returns after post-Masters whirlwind

Matsuyama said he’s ready for the increased media attention now that he’s a major champion.

“I realize now the responsibility that goes with a major championship, especially the Masters,” he said. “I’m honored. I’m flattered by the added attention, but at the same time, sometimes it’s difficult to say no. But it goes with the territory and I’m grateful that I have this opportunity and I’ll try my best to prepare well for what’s to come.”

As for his game, Matsuyama said that he barely practiced while in Japan and that he’s not sure how he’ll play this week at TPC Craig Ranch in his one and only tuneup for next week’s major.

“Really one of my goals now is just to try to find my game again and prepare for the PGA Championship next week,” he said.