PGA Tour caddie clarifies gesture Hideki Matsuyama's looper 'politely declined'

PGA Tour caddie Aaron Flener has clarified what he meant when he shared a story about Hideki Matsuyama's caddie Shota Hayafuji.

PGA Tour caddie clarifies gesture Hideki Matsuyama's looper 'politely declined'
PGA Tour caddie clarifies gesture Hideki Matsuyama's looper 'politely…

PGA Tour caddie Aaron Flener, who loops for J.T. Poston, revealed what a class act Hideki Matsuyama's caddie is after the Japanese golfer won the Genesis Invitational

Flener took to X in the immediate aftermath of Matsuyama's win to explain he witnessed the former Masters champion 'chunk' a 3-wood off the first tee at Riviera Country Club at the beginning of the final round. 

Only to go on and completely pulverise the field, beating Poston by nine strokes and his nearest competitors by three with a bogey-free 62.

Flener also stated that Matsuyama's caddie Shota Hayafuji (pictured, above) carried his bag from the green to a tee box on two occasions. 

We presume Shota was also carrying Matsuyama's heavy Srixon bag at the same time. What a trooper. 

Still, there was something curious in Flener's post. 

"I asked him to take it from 11 green to 12 tee but he politely declined," he wrote. 

You can see how some who saw that post were immediately confused. Now Flener has clarified he asked in jest. 

"11 green to 12 tee isn't up a big hill but that tee is about 100 yards from the previous green," he wrote. 

"Too far to carry two bags. I asked him to do that as a joke. He laughed."

Shota later went viral on social media with this image as he waited to see if Matsuyama was going to be caught by either Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele or Will Zalatoris:

This was not the first time a photograph of Shota has touched the hearts of many. 

The enduring image of Matsuyama's 2021 Masters victory was that of Shota bowing to Augusta National after the golfer tapped in to win. 

"I bowed to the course mainly because I was thankful," Shota later said. "I wasn't thinking about doing it and it just happened — like an instinct."

PGA Tour caddie clarifies gesture Hideki Matsuyama's looper 'politely declined'

The instinct was widely appreciated. "Love this," wrote former world number one Luke Donald

Shota added: "I was really surprised that there was such a reaction. I was excited, but I was more surprised about it."

Matsuyama hired Shota in 2018 and the two have been inseparable ever since. 

In 2019, Shota uploaded a picture alongside Matsuyama that was tagged "#happyvalentine."

He refers to Matsuyama as 'boss' but appears reluctant to take part in media interviews to talk about their working relationship. 

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