Masters Champion DQ’d From Memorial Tournament
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, was disqualified from the first round of the Memorial on Thursday for having an illegal substance on the face of his 3-wood.
PGA Tour chief referee Steve Rintoul said the tour became aware of the issue after someone emailed a photograph of the 3-wood that had been posted to Instagram. Rintoul said rules officials were immediately sent to find Matsuyama, who was playing the first hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Matsuyama was asked if he was carrying the club and whether he had used it. He told them he had used it to tee off on the first hole. Rintoul said white correction fluid was applied to the club's face to help Matsuyama center the ball.
"The damage was done," Rintoul said. "One shot and it's a disqualification."
Rintoul later met Matsuyama on the fifth fairway and told him to keep playing, while he consulted with USGA rules officials about whether he was playing with a non-conforming club.
"A substance or any treatment can't be applied to the face of a club which could influence the flight of the ball, the spin, the loft or anything on the ball, how the ball performs,"
Matsuyama was informed of his disqualification by a rules official while making the turn. He was 2 over after nine holes. It was the first disqualification of his PGA Tour career.