Hideki Matsuyama Leads ZOZO Championship at Halftime

Hideki Matsuyama Leads ZOZO Championship
Hideki Matsuyama attempts a putt on the 9th green during the second round of the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino CC on Oct 22, 2021 in Inzai, Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura via Getty Images)

Hideki Matsuyama chased an opening-round 64 with a second-day 68 and will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the ZOZO Championship.

The 29-year-old Japanese superstar finished his second day at a rainy and raw Narashino Country Club with just one bogey offset by three birdies, including a final-hole gain which pushed the native son into the marquee position on 8-under par.

Afterwards, Matsuyama was pleased with his round, particularly considering the elements.

“It wasn’t a perfect round, but I played well. I’m happy with it,” said Matsuyama, who leads the field with 32 (of 36) greens hit.

“It’s not often that we play in rain and cold at the same time, but I’m happy with the round and it was a good day.”

He continued, “I’m in a good position. Looking forward to the weekend and do my best.”

One off the pace was Cameron Tringale, who carded a second-round 66 to sit solo second on 7 under.

“Well, it was cold on the first hole and rainy on the last hole, but I produced a steady round of golf really,” said Tringale, who is seeking his first PGA Tour title. “I kept it in front of me, I hit a lot of good iron shots.

“The course played really long in this cold weather and being so wet. Just made some nice swings with my irons and kind of left myself in the right positions on these greens and was able to make a few putts. That was the day.”

Matt Wallace (69) and Brendan Steele (68) were tied for third on 6 under, one clear of Tommy Fleetwood and Joaquin Niemann (71), who rounded out the top-5 leaders at the halfway marker.

2021 ZOZO Championship

Leaderboard: Top 10

Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 2)
1. Hideki Matsuyama -8 (-2)
2. Cameron Tringale -7 (-4)
3. Brendan Steele -6 (-2)
3. Matt Wallace -6 (-1)
5. Tommy Fleetwood -5 (-2)
5. Joaquin Niemann -5 (+1)
7. Sebastián Muñoz -4 (-4)
7. Lanto Griffin -4 (-3)
7. Troy Merritt -4 (-2)
7. Alex Noren -4 (-2)
7. Matt Jones -4 (-1)
7. Hiroshi Iwata -4 (+3)

Notables

14. Branden Grace -2 (-4)
20. Collin Morikawa -1 (-2)
35. Rickie Fowler +1 (+1)
58. Xander Schauffele +4 (+4)
66. Will Zalatoris +5 (+6)

Tee Times, Pairings

9:17 p.m. – Merritt, Jones, Griffin
9:28 p.m. – Munoz, Iwata, Noren
9:39 p.m. – Steele, Fleetwood, Niemann
9:50 p.m. – Matsuyama, Tringale, Wallace

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