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Hideki Matsuyama Trips in Pursuit of a Breakthrough at the P.G.A. Championship

Related Topics: Hideki Matsuyama

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Hideki Matsuyama climbed the 48 steps from the Quail Hollow practice green to the first tee on Saturday, he took them two at a time, as if to show that the lead he held halfway through the P.G.A. Championship was not weighing heavily on him.

Since he made the cut at the Masters as a teenager in 2011, Matsuyama has been expected in his homeland, Japan, to become the first player from the country to win a men’s major. Six years later, the expectation of Matsuyama’s coronation hung over the course, as though balloons and confetti were ready to be released from the cover of clouds.