Golf: Japan's Hideki Matsuyama wins fourth tournament in five starts, Tiger Woods finishes 15th

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits a tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, The Bahamas on Dec 4, 2016 in Nassau, Bahamas.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits a tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, The Bahamas on Dec 4, 2016 in Nassau, Bahamas. PHOTO: AFP

NASSAU (Bahamas) (REUTERS) - Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the hottest player in world golf over the past two months, survived a shaky back nine to clinch his fourth win in five starts with a two-stroke victory at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Sunday.

While tournament host Tiger Woods delivered the good, bad and ugly as he finished 14 shots back in his much-anticipated return to competition, Matsuyama ended a dominant week with his worst round, a one-over 73 at the Albany course on the island of New Providence.

The 24-year-old Japanese, seven strokes ahead overnight in the 18-man event, birdied two of the first nine holes, then shrugged off a double at the 10th and a bogey at the 14th as he posted an 18-under total in blustery conditions.

"I have played very, very well until today," world No. 6 Matsuyama, speaking through an interpreter, told Golf Channel about his sizzling run that included a maiden World Golf Championships title in Shanghai in October. "Today I struggled a bit."

British Open champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden eagled the par-five ninth on the way to a 68 and second place, three ahead of Americans Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar.

Woods, back in action after being sidelined nearly 16 months due to back-related issues, endured a roller-coaster ride that included five birdies and three double-bogeys as he closed with a 76 for 15th place at four-under.