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Matsuyama edges ahead in tough conditions at BMW Championship

HidekiMatsuyama - Cropped
Japan's Hideki Matsuyama
Omnisport
NEWS
Modified 28 Aug 2020, 05:46 IST
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Hideki Matsuyama made two late birdies to grab a one-stroke lead after the first round of the BMW Championship on Thursday.

The Japanese star mixed six birdies with three bogeys in tough conditions at the Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois to shoot a three-under 67.

Matsuyama was one of just three players to finish the opening round under par at the second FedEx Cup play-off event of the year.

The 28-year-old, whose last win came in 2017, was one over through nine holes before making four birdies on his back nine – the front nine of the course – including picking up shots at holes seven and nine.

American Tyler Duncan is outright second after his 68, while Mackenzie Hughes opened with a 69.

With conditions difficult for scoring, 10 players are tied for fourth at even par, with four-time major champion Rory McIlroy among them.

Former world number one McIlroy, the 2012 winner, had four birdies and four bogeys to be in contention for his first victory of 2020.

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Harry Higgs, Tony Finau, Billy Horschel, Lanto Griffin, Sebastian Munoz, Matt Fitzpatrick, Carlos Ortiz, Mark Hubbard and Abraham Ancer are also at even par.

Coming off his incredible 11-shot win at the Northern Trust, Dustin Johnson opened with a one-over 71 to be among a group tied for 14th.

Defending champion Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods fired opening-round 73s and endured similar struggles late.

After starting on the back nine, Thomas and Woods were both even with three holes to play, but finished with three consecutive bogeys.

US PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa and Jason Day both carded 76s, while 2017 winner Marc Leishman is last after shooting an 80.

Published 28 Aug 2020, 05:46 IST
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