Zozo Championship R1

Hiroshi Iwata takes opening lead in Japan

Zozo Championship 2021 R1
October 21-24
Accordia Golf Narashino CC, Chiba, Japan
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Hiroshi Iwata of Japan shot a 63 on Thursday to take the opening lead of the Zozo Championship at Narashini Country Club.

Zozo Championship 2021 R1

“This morning, my shots were not as good as I expected but it got better during the round. I still need to rectify my shots.”

Zozo Championship 2021 R1

“I am happy to shoot low score. This morning I teed off from 10th and made a birdie, which was a good start. On 12th, I missed a birdie putt but then I failed to tap in. For some reason, it became a momentum.

“On 18th, I got nervous as there were many spectators around the green but making an eagle there made me feel good, especially after two birdies in a row.”

Zozo Championship 2021 R1

One shot behind at 6-under are Joaquin Niemann of Chile and current Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, also of Japan.

“This is a really hard course,” said Niemann. “I love it because it’s fun. You’ve got to hit it both ways, you’ve got to hit draw, you’ve got to hit fade, you’ve got to put the ball in the fairway. There’s some holes that you’ve got to – – it’s really important to be in a good position. Sometimes the rough can be really tricky and it’s hard to control the distance from the rough. Yeah, it’s a fun course. We played here two years ago and hopefully we don’t get the same rain we got two years ago.”

Tokyo Olympics champion Xander Schauffele shot event par 70 while Open champion Collin Morikawa shot 71.

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