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Hideki Matsuyama disqualified after illegally marking one of his clubs with white correction fluid

Former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama disqualified from Memorial Tournament for illegally marking a circle on one of his clubs with white correction fluid to help him center the ball

  • Hideki Matsuyama was disqualified midway through his first round
  • PGA officials were warned by images of the club posted online on Thursday
  • Matsuyama played in a group alongside Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed

Former champion Hideki Matsuyama was disqualified from the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio midway through his first round on Thursday due to an illegal tag on one of his clubs.

Matsuyama, who took the first of his eight PGA Tour wins at the 2014 Memorial Tournament, was disqualified from the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event after painted lines were discovered on the front of his three woods.

If this is the first time the former Masters champion has been disqualified from a PGA Tour event.

Hideki Matsuyama was disqualified from the Memorial Tournament on Thursday

Hideki Matsuyama was disqualified from the Memorial Tournament on Thursday

The white correction fluid was applied to the face of the club to help Matsuyama center the ball

The white correction fluid was applied to the face of the club to help Matsuyama center the ball

PGA Tour senior tournament director Steve Rintoul said images of the club were posted online and his team only found out after Matsuyama used it on the first tee. If he hadn’t used the club, he could have continued to play.

Matsuyama was asked if he had the bat with him and if he had used it. He told them he had used it to tee off on the first hole.

Rintoul said white correction fluid was applied to the club’s face to help Matsuyama center the ball.

“The damage is done,” Rintoul said. “One shot and it’s a disqualification.”

Rintoul said his team approached Matsuyama on the second hole to ask if he had used the club and the former Masters champion was candid about it.

“The material was applied to the clubface for alignment so that Hideki could place the ball within the circle of the lines. That’s basically the center of the face,” Rintoul said.

“And applying a small, discreet dot with a Sharpie to help you align is fine. We have players who always do it. But the amount of substance that was on the face of the club when we sent it to the USGA, their equipment standards, guys, it was just exaggerated.

“And that’s what can affect the performance of the ball, can affect it.”

Matsuyama, who played in a group with Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed, was three-over-par 39 when he reached the corner in Muirfield Village after a double bogey on the second hole and a bogey on the sixth.

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