Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend at the Zozo Championship after shooting a two-under-par 68 in the second round on Friday.
World No. 19 Matsuyama, who was cheered on by a gallery of 5,000, was more solid than spectacular in cold and wet conditions at Narashino Country Club in Chiba Prefecture.
Matsuyama began the day in second place and started in the 10th hole. He had two birdies and a bogey on his front nine and picked up another shot on his way in and sits a stroke clear of American Cameron Tringale at eight-under.
“It wasn’t a perfect round, but I played well,” Matsuyama told reporters. “I’m happy with it.
“I’m in a good position. Looking forward to the weekend and (will) do my best.”
Tringale’s 66 was tied for the best round of the day and kept him ahead of fellow American Brendan Steele (68) and Britain’s Matt Wallace (69), who are tied for third at six-under.
“I’m from California, I do not play in the rain,” Steele said. “When it rains, I stay inside.”
“My game doesn’t usually translate that well to the weather. … I was just happy to hold it together today.”
Britain’s Tommy Fleetwood drained a birdie putt on his final hole for a 68, which drew him into a share of fifth with Chilean Joaquin Niemann, who shot a 71, five-under.
World No. 3 Collin Morikawa improved on his opening 71 with a 68 to lie seven shots off the pace, while Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele slumped to a four-over 74 after dropping five shots on his first five holes.
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Hideki Matsuyama, Zozo Championship
Source: The Japan Times