Home hero Hideki Matsuyama was not sure he would be able to compete at the Tokyo Olympics when he tested positive for COVID-19, but now he has recovered he hopes to add another medal for Team Japan.
Reigning Masters champion Matsuyama returned a positive COVID-19 test earlier this month and withdrew from the PGA Tour's Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, going into quarantine for about 10 days.
The Olympic golf event starting Thursday will be his first competition after recovering.
"To be able to represent Japan and play in my home Olympics, this is probably the first and last time I'll be able to do that," said the 29-year-old Matsuyama on Tuesday.
"Kasumigaseki has been a place for me to progress and grow, so hopefully I could do the same thing this week and move on to another level." - Hideki Matsuyama.
"Three weeks ago, I tested positive for COVID-19 and I wasn't really sure if I'll be able to make it to the stage here.
"During that (quarantine) time, I was unable to practice. Once I got back to Japan, I started practicing.
"So, in terms of preparations, it started with a little bit delay but hopefully I will be able to prepare well today and tomorrow," he said.
The event will take place at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe City, Saitama. The club is one of the most prestigious clubs in Japan, founded in 1929.
It is where Matsuyama won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2010 and booked his first ticket to the Masters.
"Kasumigaseki has been a place for me to progress and grow, so hopefully I could do the same thing this week and move on to another level," he said.