‘I kept fighting’: Inside Hideki Matsuyama’s Olympic heartbreak

If we’re lucky, a handful of us will ever know how it feels to bear the weight of external expectation. In other words, if we’re lucky, a handful of us will ever be capable of understanding life as a professional athlete, in which the weight of external expectation serves as both reality and rite of passage.

For those who shoulder the weight and succeed, there is fame and adoration, even deification. For those who shoulder it and fail? There is what Hideki Matsuyama experienced on Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics.

In theory, Matsuyama’s bid at Olympic glory was successful. At the end of 72 holes on Sunday at Kasumigaseki C.C., the 29-year-old found himself in third-place among the 60-player field. Sure, that wasn’t quite “gold medal” quality, but no one could be upset with a bronze.

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