HAVEN, Wis. -- Media interviews can be awkward affairs for players and reporters alike. Instead of a free-following conversation, the dialogue is often stop-and-go, as writers' inquiries are framed to cater to their own agendas rather than an overall theme of the press conference:
"Phil, what do you think of the Chargers' chances this NFL season?"
"Dustin, have you tried any of the local kielbasa?"
"If you had to sum up the career of Ben Hogan, how would you do so, Jordan?"
Which brings us to Hideki Matsuyama.
Understandably so, the Japanese media wants to cover a rising star hailing from the home country. And Matsuyama, at 23 years old, certainly fits that description, entering Whistling Straits as the No. 15 ranked player in the world.
Still, some of the Matsuyama questions at this week's press conferences were, um, out of left field. To the players' credit, they tried to answer such probes in good faith, but as you can tell, these Matsuyama probes caught them off-guard:
(To Rickie Fowler) You're a quarter Japanese. Do you feel any samurai spirit from Hideki?
"I feel like we've gotten to know each other a bit more over the past couple of years, and we have a lot of fun playing together. There's a little bit of a connection, since I'm a quarter Japanese, and it would be fun to sometime in the future get to play in Japan together, play against each other, maybe, and we're going to be playing against each other for a long time."