Hideki Matsuyama has the ability to become the first Japanese man to win a major title, Gary Player has said ahead of the Masters.
Matsuyama has risen to the fourth in the world following triumphs at the WCG-HSBC Champions, Hero World Challenge and Waste Management Phoenix Open over the last six months.
But Matsuyama conceded on Tuesday that he heads into this week's Masters with his game not where it was a few months ago.
However, three-time Masters champion Player believes Matsuyama can make the leap that countryman Ryo Ishikawa – who has failed to realise his potential since becoming the youngest player to win on any major tour as a 15-year-old – has been unable to.
"I think he's got the game that can win a major, I think it would be a wonderful thing for Japan. It's been a very predominant golf country," Player told Omnisport.
"It looked like Ishikawa was going to do well and he went off. Matsuyama is strong, he's confident, and I would love to see him win a major because that would just be a marvellous thing for Japanese golf and Japanese golf deserves it."
Matsuyama will tee off alongside Russell Knox and Rickie Fowler at 13:19 (local time) on Thursday.