Zozo Championship R1

Woods shares the lead in Japan but McIlroy struggles on day one

October 24-27
Accordia Golf Narashino CC, Chiba, Japan
$9,750,000
Round 2, Round 2 (Pt2), Round 3/4 (Pt1), Round 4 (Pt2)

Zozo Championship R1 - Woods & Woodland share the lead
Tiger Woods shares the leads (Lee Jin-man/AP)

Tiger Woods produced a brilliant fightback to claim a share of the lead after the first round of the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan.

Woods was three over par after three holes at Narashino Country Club, but played the remaining 15 holes in nine under par to card an opening 64, which was matched by US Open champion Gary Woodland.

Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is a shot off the lead following a 65, but world number two Rory McIlroy is eight strokes off the pace after struggling to a 72.


Woods began his round on the back nine and got off to a nightmare start as he pulled his drive on the 10th into the water to make the first of three consecutive bogeys.

The 15-time major winner steadied the ship with a par on the 13th before posting a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th and picked up another shot on the 18th to reach the turn in one under.

Woods made his second hat-trick of birdies from the third and further birdies on the seventh and ninth completed an inward nine of 29 to boost his chances of claiming the 82nd PGA Tour title of his career, equalling the record of Sam Snead.

“I was just trying to turn it to even par at the turn, that’s basically my goal, and I was able to squeeze one more out of it and lo and behold I had the easier side I’m going to and hopefully I can squeeze a couple more out of it and I did a couple more better than that, which was nice,” Woods told the Golf Channel.

“It’s always nice to get off to a quick start and then figure it out from there, but that start I got off to wasn’t very good.

“I hit bad shot after bad shot after bad shot and then a three-wiggle (three-putt) at 12 and next thing you knew things aren’t looking very good.


“After the start the ball-striking was better, the putting was really good. It was one of the stranger rounds I’ve experienced in a while. It seems like every putt I made, other than the one at seven, was left to right. It was crazy.”

Bad weather is forecast for the second round on Friday and Woods is anticipating some disruption to play for the remainder of the first PGA Tour event to be staged in Japan.

“It’s going to be sloppy and tough for us tomorrow morning before the storm gets in and I think we’re probably going to get a little wet, and then it’s going to be a grind on the weekend,” the 43-year-old added.


“It’s going to be a lot of golf on the weekend for all of us and probably be close to 54 holes or so for some of the guys on the weekend. It will be a long couple of days for us.”

England’s Paul Casey leads the European challenge on one under par, with Sergio Garcia a shot further back and Open champion Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter all shooting one over.

McIlroy was one under par after 10 holes but bogeyed the 11th, double-bogeyed the next and dropped another shot on the 16th before ending the day with a birdie on the 18th.

Fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell props up the 78-man field after slumping to an 11-over-par 81 which included a back nine of 45.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
T1
Tiger Woods
USA
-6
64
T1
Gary Woodland
USA
-6
64
3
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-5
65
T4
Daniel Berger
USA
-3
67
T4
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
-3
67
T4
Ryan Palmer
USA
-3
67
T7
Andrew Putnam
USA
-2
68
T7
Ryo Ishikawa
JPN
-2
68
T7
Billy Horschel
USA
-2
68
T7
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
-2
68
T7
Joaquin Niemann
CHI
-2
68
T7
Xander Schauffele
USA
-2
68
T7
Rikuya Hoshino
JPN
-2
68
T14
Paul Casey
ENG
-1
69
T14
Corey Conners
CAN
-1
69
T14
Matthew Wolff
USA
-1
69
T14
Bubba Watson
USA
-1
69
T14
Satoshi Kodaira
JPN
-1
69
T14
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
-1
69
T14
Keegan Bradley
USA
-1
69
T14
Keith Mitchell
USA
-1
69
T14
Kevin Tway
USA
-1
69
T14
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-1
69
T14
Adam Schenk
USA
-1
69
T25
Tomoharu Otsuki
JAP
Par
70
T25
Charles Howell III
USA
Par
70
T25
Sergio Garcia
ESP
Par
70
T25
Danny Lee
NZL
Par
70
T25
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
Par
70
T25
Vaughn Taylor
USA
Par
70
T25
J. T. Poston
USA
Par
70
T25
Justin Thomas
USA
Par
70
T33
Adam Hadwin
CAN
1
71
T33
Rory Sabbatini
SVK
1
71
T33
Kevin Na
USA
1
71
T33
Max Homa
USA
1
71
T33
Troy Merritt
USA
1
71
T33
Adam Long
USA
1
71
T33
Dylan Frittelli
RSA
1
71
T33
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
1
71
T33
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
1
71
T33
Chan Kim
USA
1
71
T33
Sang-Hyun Park
KOR
1
71
T33
Shane Lowry
IRL
1
71
T33
Ian Poulter
ENG
1
71
T33
Collin Morikawa
USA
1
71
T47
Harold Varner III
USA
2
72
T47
Patrick Reed
USA
2
72
T47
Tony Finau
USA
2
72
T47
Mikumu Horikawa
JPN
2
72
T47
Ryan Moore
USA
2
72
T47
Pat Perez
USA
2
72
T47
Rory McIlroy
NIR
2
72
T47
Lucas Glover
USA
2
72
T47
Joel Dahmen
USA
2
72
T47
Seung-Su Han
KOR
2
72
T47
Yosuke Asaji
JPN
2
72
T58
Jason Day
AUS
3
73
T58
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
3
73
T58
Shaun Norris
RSA
3
73
T58
Nate Lashley
USA
3
73
T58
Adam Scott
AUS
3
73
T63
Abraham Ancer
USA
4
74
T63
Shugo Imahira
JPN
4
74
T63
Jazz Janewattananond
THA
4
74
T63
Wyndham Clark
USA
4
74
T63
Jordan Spieth
USA
4
74
T63
Jason Kokrak
USA
4
74
T69
Kevin Kisner
USA
5
75
T69
Jinichiro Kozuma
JAP
5
75
T69
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
5
75
T69
Viktor Hovland
NOR
5
75
T73
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
6
76
T73
Marc Leishman
AUS
6
76
75
Chez Reavie
USA
7
77
T76
Scott Piercy
USA
8
78
T76
Kevin Streelman
USA
8
78
78
Graeme McDowell
NIR
11
81
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