(CNN)With one small putt, Hideki Matsuyama ascended from professional golfer to national treasure.

Like Naomi Osaka before him, the 29-year-old’s victory at the 2021 Masters propelled him into a Japanese superstar and a potential Olympic poster boy. By claiming a dramatic one-shot victory, Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a golf major. One Japanese newspaper even printed a 72-hole graphic detailing every single shot played by the golfer as Japan went Matsuyama made.But it isn’t just Matsuyama’s golfing prowess that has endeared him to the Japanese nation.There was the respectful bow from his caddie Shota Hayafuji to the Augusta National course in the immediate aftermath of the victory and then the world No. 14 golfer was seen on his way at an airport with his Green Jacket over his arm.Read MoreMatsuyama says he hopes his Augusta success will help inspire the next generation of Japanese golfers.Matsuyama walks off the 18th green after winning the Masters.Matsuyama walks off the 18th green after winning the Masters.Matsuyama walks off the 18th green after winning the Masters.”It’s thrilling to think that there are a lot of youngsters in Japan watching today. Hopefully in five, 10 years, when they get a little older, hopefully some of them will be competing on the world stage,” Matsuyama said during his press conference following his Masters victory.”But I still have a lot of years left, so they are going to have to compete against me still. But I’m happy for them because hopefully they will be able to follow in my footsteps.”Perhaps also unsurprisingly, since his victory in Georgia, the Japanese golfer has been “inundated” with marketing requests and media opportunities, according to Matsuyama’s agent Bob Turner.READ: ‘The Short Game’: Netflix documentary female stars are helping to change golfHideki Matsuyama celebrates with the green jacket after winning the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11. He finished one shot ahead of Will Zalatoris.Hideki Matsuyama celebrates with the green jacket after winning the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11. He finished one shot ahead of Will Zalatoris. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentHideki Matsuyama celebrates with the green jacket after winning the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11. He finished one shot ahead of Will Zalatoris.Hide Caption 1 of 31Matsuyama celebrates with his caddie, Shota Hayafuji, on the 18th green Sunday.Matsuyama celebrates with his caddie, Shota Hayafuji, on the 18th green Sunday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentMatsuyama celebrates with his caddie, Shota Hayafuji, on the 18th green Sunday.Hide Caption 2 of 31Matsuyama lines up a putt on the 18th green Sunday.Matsuyama lines up a putt on the 18th green Sunday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentMatsuyama lines up a putt on the 18th green Sunday.Hide Caption 3 of 31Xander Schauffele bites his club on the 16th hole Sunday. He hit the ball in the water there, effectively ending his hopes of winning the tournament.Xander Schauffele bites his club on the 16th hole Sunday. He hit the ball in the water there, effectively ending his hopes of winning the tournament. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentXander Schauffele bites his club on the 16th hole Sunday. He hit the ball in the water there, effectively ending his hopes of winning the tournament.Hide Caption 4 of 31Kevin Na plays a shot from a bunker on Sunday.Kevin Na plays a shot from a bunker on Sunday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentKevin Na plays a shot from a bunker on Sunday.Hide Caption 5 of 31Matsuyama plays a shot from a bunker.Matsuyama plays a shot from a bunker. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentMatsuyama plays a shot from a bunker.Hide Caption 6 of 31Schauffele hits a tee shot on Sunday.Schauffele hits a tee shot on Sunday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentSchauffele hits a tee shot on Sunday.Hide Caption 7 of 31An attendant adjusts scores from behind a leaderboard on Saturday.An attendant adjusts scores from behind a leaderboard on Saturday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentAn attendant adjusts scores from behind a leaderboard on Saturday.Hide Caption 8 of 31Matsuyama finished with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a four-shot lead into Sunday's final round.Matsuyama finished with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a four-shot lead into Sunday's final round. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentMatsuyama finished with a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a four-shot lead into Sunday’s final round.Hide Caption 9 of 31Spectators walk to cover on Saturday after play was temporarily suspended because of inclement weather.Spectators walk to cover on Saturday after play was temporarily suspended because of inclement weather. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentSpectators walk to cover on Saturday after play was temporarily suspended because of inclement weather.Hide Caption 10 of 31Matt Jones reacts on the 13th hole as a warning horn was sounded to suspend play on Saturday.Matt Jones reacts on the 13th hole as a warning horn was sounded to suspend play on Saturday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentMatt Jones reacts on the 13th hole as a warning horn was sounded to suspend play on Saturday.Hide Caption 11 of 31Justin Thomas hits a tee shot on Saturday.Justin Thomas hits a tee shot on Saturday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentJustin Thomas hits a tee shot on Saturday.Hide Caption 12 of 31Justin Rose eyes a par putt on the first hole Friday. Rose held a one-shot lead heading into the weekend.Justin Rose eyes a par putt on the first hole Friday. Rose held a one-shot lead heading into the weekend. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentJustin Rose eyes a par putt on the first hole Friday. Rose held a one-shot lead heading into the weekend.Hide Caption 13 of 31People spread out from one another as they watch Tommy Fleetwood putt on the 16th green on Friday.People spread out from one another as they watch Tommy Fleetwood putt on the 16th green on Friday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentPeople spread out from one another as they watch Tommy Fleetwood putt on the 16th green on Friday.Hide Caption 14 of 31Bryson DeChambeau, last year's US Open champion, plays a shot on the 13th hole Friday.Bryson DeChambeau, last year's US Open champion, plays a shot on the 13th hole Friday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentBryson DeChambeau, last year’s US Open champion, plays a shot on the 13th hole Friday.Hide Caption 15 of 31Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left, watches the action along with fellow Augusta National member Heidi Ueberroth on Friday.Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left, watches the action along with fellow Augusta National member Heidi Ueberroth on Friday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentFormer US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left, watches the action along with fellow Augusta National member Heidi Ueberroth on Friday.Hide Caption 16 of 31Former Masters champion Jordan Spieth walks past the azaleas on the sixth fairway Friday.Former Masters champion Jordan Spieth walks past the azaleas on the sixth fairway Friday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentFormer Masters champion Jordan Spieth walks past the azaleas on the sixth fairway Friday.Hide Caption 17 of 31Lee Elder acknowledges applause as he joins Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as honorary starters on Thursday. In 1975, Elder became the first African American to play in the Masters.Lee Elder acknowledges applause as he joins Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as honorary starters on Thursday. In 1975, Elder became the first African American to play in the Masters. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentLee Elder acknowledges applause as he joins Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as honorary starters on Thursday. In 1975, Elder became the first African American to play in the Masters.Hide Caption 18 of 31Dustin Johnson, last year's Masters champion, plays a shot on the second hole on Thursday.Dustin Johnson, last year's Masters champion, plays a shot on the second hole on Thursday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentDustin Johnson, last year’s Masters champion, plays a shot on the second hole on Thursday.Hide Caption 19 of 31Rose hits out of a bunker on the second hole on Thursday. He shot a 7-under 65 to take a four-shot lead after the first round.Rose hits out of a bunker on the second hole on Thursday. He shot a 7-under 65 to take a four-shot lead after the first round. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentRose hits out of a bunker on the second hole on Thursday. He shot a 7-under 65 to take a four-shot lead after the first round.Hide Caption 20 of 31This was the first time in two years that the Masters had allowed spectators on the course.This was the first time in two years that the Masters had allowed spectators on the course. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentThis was the first time in two years that the Masters had allowed spectators on the course.Hide Caption 21 of 31Spieth hits a tee shot on Thursday.Spieth hits a tee shot on Thursday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentSpieth hits a tee shot on Thursday.Hide Caption 22 of 31Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka had knee surgery less than a month ago, but he was on the course for the first round.Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka had knee surgery less than a month ago, but he was on the course for the first round. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentFour-time major winner Brooks Koepka had knee surgery less than a month ago, but he was on the course for the first round.Hide Caption 23 of 31Rory McIlroy hits out of the rough on the sixth hole Thursday.Rory McIlroy hits out of the rough on the sixth hole Thursday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentRory McIlroy hits out of the rough on the sixth hole Thursday.Hide Caption 24 of 31Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson hits out of a bunker on the first hole Thursday.Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson hits out of a bunker on the first hole Thursday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentTwo-time Masters champ Bubba Watson hits out of a bunker on the first hole Thursday.Hide Caption 25 of 31Fans watch some of the first-round play.Fans watch some of the first-round play. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentFans watch some of the first-round play.Hide Caption 26 of 31Max Homa walks down the 18th fairway on Thursday.Max Homa walks down the 18th fairway on Thursday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentMax Homa walks down the 18th fairway on Thursday.Hide Caption 27 of 31Joaquin Niemann looks for his ball on the 10th hole Thursday.Joaquin Niemann looks for his ball on the 10th hole Thursday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentJoaquin Niemann looks for his ball on the 10th hole Thursday.Hide Caption 28 of 31During a practice round on Wednesday, Ian Poulter takes a Hogan Bridge selfie with his playing partners and their caddies.During a practice round on Wednesday, Ian Poulter takes a Hogan Bridge selfie with his playing partners and their caddies. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentDuring a practice round on Wednesday, Ian Poulter takes a Hogan Bridge selfie with his playing partners and their caddies.Hide Caption 29 of 31McIlroy and Thomas walk across the Sarazen Bridge during a practice round on Tuesday.McIlroy and Thomas walk across the Sarazen Bridge during a practice round on Tuesday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentMcIlroy and Thomas walk across the Sarazen Bridge during a practice round on Tuesday.Hide Caption 30 of 31Azaleas frame the 16th green on Monday.Azaleas frame the 16th green on Monday. Photos: The 2021 Masters golf tournamentAzaleas frame the 16th green on Monday.Hide Caption 31 of 31Masters Hideki Green Jacket 202106 masters final 202107 masters final 202105 masters final 202104 masters final 202102  masters final 2021masters UNF crop02 day 3 masters 202105 day 3 masters 202103 day 3 masters 202104 day 3 masters 202101 day 3 masters 202101 masters gallery fri06 masters gallery fri03 masters gallery fri05 masters gallery fri04 masters gallery fri01b masters gallery02 masters gallery13 masters gallery04 masters gallery14 masters gallery06 masters gallery03 masters gallery07 masters gallery08 masters gallery RESTRICTED15 masters gallery09 masters gallery10 masters gallery11 masters gallery12 masters galleryMaking changesAfter almost four years without a win, victory on golf’s biggest stage was the perfect return to form for Matsuyama. His blistering display on day three of the Masters stole the show as he raced into the lead, while on the final day, Matsuyama held off Xander Schauffele’s late charge to claim that famous Green Jacket.Andy Yamanaka, who has known Matsuyama since he was a teenager, says he saw a change in the golfer’s demeanor at Augusta which he suggests could have made the difference between winning and losing. “This time at the Masters, we saw more smiles on the golf course, which is very unusual for [him],” Yamanaka told CNN’s Selina Wang. “When he plays on the golf courses, he doesn’t smile a lot, but this time we saw some smiles, and he looked very relaxed.”Matsuyama talks with his caddie Shota Hayafuji on the second tee during the final round of the Masters.Matsuyama talks with his caddie Shota Hayafuji on the second tee during the final round of the Masters.Matsuyama talks with his caddie Shota Hayafuji on the second tee during the final round of the Masters.And when he holed the winning putt, there were no extravagant celebrations. Matsuyama almost casually removed his hat, shook hands with Schauffele and embraced his caddie. That’s when the emotions appeared to kick in, before the golfer raced off the 18th green to receive the Green Jacket coveted by so many. Having turned professional eight years ago, Matsuyama’s hard work and dedication on the driving range are qualities that have stood him in good stead, taking him to 13 professional wins and second in the world rankings in 2017. Yamanaka believes that it isn’t until recently when he’s started to add muscle to his frame — thereby helping to add more distance to his game — that has given him another dimension. “He was very skinny guy,” Yamanaka explained. “So, when he joined our national team, we had a training program. And so he spent a lot of time putting a lot of muscle on him by doing some exercises. “Even after he turned professional … he knew that to be better a player as a professional golfer, he needs to be built bigger. And so, as well as hitting a lot of golf balls on the range, I think he spent a lot of time in training, to put more muscle on him.”READ: The ‘Tiger Slam’: 20 years on from when Tiger Woods won it allMatsuyama plays a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the final round of the Masters.Matsuyama plays a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the final round of the Masters.Matsuyama plays a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the final round of the Masters.Impact back homeMatsuyama is no stranger to the Masters and to Augusta National. Ten years ago, Matsuyama earned low-amateur honors at the tournament and the 19-year-old sat beside winner Charl Schwartzel in the Butler Cabin during the Green Jacket ceremony.However, at that time, Matsuyama’s mind was distracted by events back home — the tournament took place about a month after the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan. Matsuyama himself was competing in Australia at the time of the earthquake, but when he returned to Tohoku Fukushi University he found his accommodation destroyedMatsuyama with the trophy for the low amateur after the final round of the 2011 Masters.Matsuyama with the trophy for the low amateur after the final round of the 2011 Masters.Matsuyama with the trophy for the low amateur after the final round of the 2011 Masters.”Literally, thousands of lives have been lost, and there are still a lot of people missing,” Matsuyama said in the post-Masters press conference in 2011. “Infrastructure is still in the recovery process and a lot of the inhabitants are forced to live in emergency relief places. “I am from the Tohoku region, and knowing such a hard situation back home, I am not sure if I should play at the Masters even at this very moment. Still, I have decided to play.”He stressed his desire to take up some volunteering upon his return and through his attention on the earthquake relief and place on the PGA Tour, Matsuyama helped shine a spotlight on the issues back home and became a more prominent figure to his compatriots. Now Yamanaka is hoping Matsuyama’s new major-winning profile can help widen golf’s appeal in Japan. “We have 2,200 golf courses; we are known as the second largest golf country in the world. Next to America, next to the US. We have about 7.5 million golfers. Golf is a wonderful sport where any generation can enjoy and compete each other. So, I think his win has inspired not only golfers but also young people who don’t play golf, come into play golf, coming to the game.Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videosYasuhiko Abe, who coached golfer Hideki Matsuyama during his Tohoku Fukushi University years, holds special editions of newspapers featuring Matsuyama's Masters victory. Yasuhiko Abe, who coached golfer Hideki Matsuyama during his Tohoku Fukushi University years, holds special editions of newspapers featuring Matsuyama's Masters victory. Yasuhiko Abe, who coached golfer Hideki Matsuyama during his Tohoku Fukushi University years, holds special editions of newspapers featuring Matsuyama’s Masters victory. “The young generation people these days, they have so many options, and every sport has to compete against other sports for young generation to come into that sport, and golf is under the same situation. So we need a more and more young people to come into our game.”Mark Broadie, Columbia Business School professor and author of ‘Every Shot Counts’ — a book which teaches played how to use statistics and golf analytics to transform their game, cites the influence Se Ri Pak’s 1998 US Women’s Open victory had on South Korean golf as a possible blueprint of the impact of Matsuyama’s Masters win in Japan. “[Se Ri Pak’s 1998 US Women’s Open] win led to a huge growth in golf in South Korea which now has 4 of the top 10 and 39 of the top 100 players in the Rolex World Rankings,” Broadie told CNN via email. “My guess is that Hideki will become an icon and role model in Japan and will inspire a generation of younger Japanese players (and likely beyond Japan).”When Matsuyama secured victory at the Masters, emotions got the better of Tokyo Broadcasting System’s (TBS) commentators. TBS announcer Wataru Ogasawara said: “Matsuyama won the Masters!” before tearing up and saying: “Finally, finally, Japanese has become the top of the world!”Co-commentator Tsuneyuki Nakajima burst into tears and could not speak following the win.And with calls suggesting Matsuyama should light the Olympic Cauldron ahead of the delayed Summer Games, the golfer is set for a busy year with three more majors to contest as well as the Tokyo 2020 golf tournament.That event will be staged at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, where Matsuyama won the Asian Amateur Championship in 2010.“Matsuyama knows the golf course well and obviously he’ll be representing Japan at the Olympics, said Yamanaka. “So he has a bigger chance, bigger advantage, And hopefully, he or another Japanese player with a gold medal … will be another great story for golf in Japan.”

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