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The Masters champion is one of the most decorated Asian golfers ever, but who is Hideki Matsuyama’s caddie?

Throughout his career, Matsuyama has picked up some memorable victories, but none more so than in 2021.

Matsuyama became the first Japanese player to win a major when he put on the Green Jacket at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

And that triumph brought his caddie into the spotlight for a memorable gesture, so who is Matsuyama’s looper?

Hideki Matsuyama’s caddie

The man on the Japan star’s bag is Shota Hayafuji. A talented player in his own right, Hayafuji has played on the China Tour.

Born in 1992, Matsuyama has claimed multiple wins on the PGA Tour, making him the most successful player from his country on the American circuit.

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And a few of those have come since Hayafuji took on caddying duties in 2019 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

As an amateur, Matsuyama enrolled the services of Taisho Okabe in 2011 before working with Katsuya Kobayashi the following year.

This was another temporary partnership, as Matsuyama moved on to Daisuke Shindo for several years, as the major winner raised his first five PGA Tour titles.

The most notable, though, was the Masters success in 2021, where Hayafuji removed his hat after Matsuyama sunk his winning putt.

The caddie then bowed his head after returning the pin.

Matsuyama said: “When the final putt went in, I really wasn’t thinking of anything.

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“But then I saw my caddie, Shota, and hugged him, I was happy for him because this is his first victory on the bag.”

The image of Matsuyama’s caddie went viral on social media, to which he said: “I bowed to the course mainly because I was thankful.

“I wasn’t thinking about doing it and it just happened — like an instinct.”

While it is unclear how the pair formed their relationship, Hayafuji regularly keeps fans updated on their travels via Instagram.

Another proud victory for the duo was at the ZOZO Championship in Japan, in 2021.

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