CHIBA, Japan — Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama overcame chilly temperatures and sometimes regular rain showers to shoot a 2-under 68 Friday and take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship.
Matsuyama, who trailed by a stroke after the primary spherical following a 64 on the par-70, 7,041-yard Narashino Nation Membership course, had a two-round whole of 8-under 132.
Temperatures dropped to as little as 12 levels Celsius (53 Fahrenheit) late within the second spherical.
Joaquin Niemann shot 71 after a gap 64 and was tied for fifth, three strokes behind.
“It was powerful, I could not really feel my arms and it was actually chilly,” mentioned Niemann, who bogeyed his first two holes.
Matsuyama made his shot of the day Friday from heavy tough on the eighth gap — his seventeenth — placing his low shot about 20 toes from the pin earlier than watching his birdie putt drift excellent. On his last gap, he left one other birdie putt quick.
Two days in the past at his pre-event media convention, Matsuyama foreshadowed a robust efficiency regardless of some latest mediocre finishes.
“If my recreation scored 10 out of 10 on the Masters, now I’d say it scores lower than 1,” he mentioned. “I will probably be struggling this week, however I’m right here in Japan, so I’m motivated to be in rivalry.”
Hiroshi Iwata, who led by one stroke after the primary spherical, simply missed an eagle putt on the 18th and completed with a birdie for a 73 and was 4 behind Matsuyama.
British Open champion Collin Morikawa shot 68 and was seven strokes behind.
Tokyo Olympic gold medal winner Xander Schauffele, taking part in in the identical group at Matsuyama, shot 74 and was 12 strokes behind the Japanese star.
Solely three of the highest 20 on the earth are taking part in in Chiba, the PGA Tour’s solely cease on the Asia swing.