Brian Harman tells hilarious Hideki Matsuyama story from Sony Open

Brian Harman admits how he and a fellow PGA Tour pro got things horribly wrong about Hideki Matsuyama at the 2012 Sony Open. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 9 Jan 2024
Brian Harman tells hilarious Hideki Matsuyama story from Sony Open

Brian Harman has revealed the awkward moment he and a fellow PGA Tour pro got things horribly wrong when predicting the future of a fresh-faced Hideki Matsuyama at the 2012 Sony Open.

Harman, speaking to the press ahead of this week's Sony Open in Hawaii, revealed the anecdotal moment during his own PGA Tour debut where he was grouped alongside Matt Every and a 20-year-old Matsuyama who had been afforded a sponsor's exemption in the tournament that week. 

The 2023 Open champion admitted how he and Every did not think Matsuyama had what it took to become a regular on the PGA Tour. 

That was because they watched Matsuyama "dribble a couple of drives off the tee" at the 2012 Sony Open, according to Harman. 

Little did they know Matsuyama would go on to become a current eight-time PGA Tour winner and Masters champion. 

It should probably be noted the 2012 Sony Open marked Matsuyama's third career start on the PGA Tour.

Matsuyama missed the cut on debut at the 2011 Sony Open, but performed admirably at the 2011 Masters.

Harman and Every must have missed that one as Matsuyama became the first ever Japanese amateur to qualify for The Masters. 

Matsuyama did not just make up the numbers at Augusta National that week either, as he won the Silver Cup for leading amateur on 1-under par. 

He was also the only amateur to make the cut that week. 

Matsuyama went on to turn pro in 2013. 

Harman shed light on his Matsuyama story when asked by a journalist to talk about any vivid memories he had of his debut week at famed Waialae Country Club in 2012. 

"Yeah, I have a funny anecdote from that week," said Harman, as he stifled a smile. 

"Playing with Matt Every, one of the funniest guys. There is always a couple of sponsor exemptions, so we're playing with this kid, and Matt and I, he's very nervous and there is photographers all over the place.

"He dribbled a couple off the tee boxes and Matt and I made the comment, don't think this kid's got it. Don't think this guy is gonna make it: Hideki Matsuyama.

"Yeah, so Matt and I would joke about that. Yeah, we missed on that one. He [Matsuyama] was like nervous beyond all belief. Missed the cut. Didn't play good at all."

Harman added: "I don't think I've ever talked to Hideki about it. Matt and I talk about it all the time. Win some, you lose some."

Matsuyama, who won the 2021 Masters, went on to miss the cut on 3-over par at the 2012 Sony Open after rounds of 71 and 72. 

Harman finished T59 on level par that week, while Every fared much better with a tie for sixth on 10-under par. 

Johnson Wagner went on to win the tournament on 13-under par. 

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