DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was disqualified Thursday from the Memorial Tournament during round one.
Matsuyama was forced to leave the field after a marking was discovered on the face of his driver. Steve Rintoul, a PGA Tour official, told NBC Sports the markings were made by a substance similar to correction fluid, and a disqualification is automatic if such a club is used during tournament play.
Rintoul said officials approached Matsuyama on the second hole over whether he had used the driver, and he said he had, on the first hole.
Matsuyama, who had never been disqualified from a PGA Tour event before, left after playing nine holes. He stood at 3 over par after a double-bogey on the second hole and a bogey on the sixth.
He is a previous Memorial champion, shooting 13 under and defeating Kevin Na in a playoff in 2014. Previously this season, he won the Zozo Championship last October and the Sony Open in Hawaii in January. He also placed third in the Byron Nelson two weeks ago.