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Japan star Matsuyama eyes World Golf Cup

AAP logoAAP 23/11/2016 Melissa Woods

World No.6 Hideki Matsuyama is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to return the World Cup of Golf trophy to Japan for the first time in 14 years in this week's tournament at Kingston Heath.

Matsuyama is the highest ranked player in the Kingston Heath field, one ahead of Australia's Adam Scott.

Starting second favourites behind the Australians, he and world No.99 Ryo Ishikawa will open their 28-country four-day tournament alongside the team from New Zealand, Danny Lee and Ryan Fox, with the group teeing off on Thursday at 12.30pm AEDT.

Matsuyama has won in three of his past four starts including the recent WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, but the 24-year-old wasn't taking that hot streak for granted.

He and Ishikawa arrived in Melbourne to start preparations a week before the tournament and in sweltering conditions on Monday practised for six hours.

"I spent a lot of time on the putting green because I felt like my putting game was a little off, so I wanted to put in a little more time," Matsuyama said.

Former wonderkid Ishikawa, now 25, was sidelined by a lower back injury for six months from February and said playing in the World Cup with Matsuyama had motivated him to return to the top of his game.

"Hideki is definitely one of the hottest players right now," Ishikawa said.

"I'm just coming in here trying to do my best and be able to compete with him because it's definitely a great opportunity here this week."

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