Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Beua Hossler moved to the top of the leaderboard at Narashino Country Club after shooting a five-under round of 65 in the second round of the PGA Tour event in Japan despite windy conditions; coverage continues on Sky Sports Golf from 4am on Saturday

Last Updated: 20/10/23 10:52am

Beau Hossler holds the lead after the second round at the Zozo Championship

Beau Hossler shot a five-under 65 to grab a one-shot lead after Friday’s second round of the Zozo Championship.

The American and the rest of the field had to battle wind gusts that reached 37mph and drying conditions at the Narashino Country Club on the outskirts of Tokyo.

Hossler, looking for his first PGA Tour victory, surprised himself and the rest of the 78-player, no-cut field where only 13 broke par. Half did in Thursday’s opening round under calmer conditions.

“I’d say anything under par was a really quality score,” Hossler said. “So, to shoot five-under par was incredible.

“[The wind] makes every shot significantly more difficult, from a three-foot putt to a 260-yard shot into a green. It’s a significant challenge on every shot and you just try as much as you can to just focus.

“I’ve been playing well lately. It’s a difficult golf course in spots, but it’s a very gettable golf course in spots.”

Hossler was one stroke ahead of fellow American Justin Suh, who shot a four-under 66, and two in front of Japanese Satoshi Kodaira, who shot 68. Four more were three back.

Collin Morikawa dropped down the leaderboard on Friday

Collin Morikawa, after a 64 to lead the first round, slipped to four strokes off the pace with a wind-blown three-over 73.

Cam Davis, an Australian who grew up playing in the wind in Sydney, managed a 70, also leaving him four strokes off the lead in a bunched field.

Davis described the trouble on his final hole, a 486-yard par-four where he took a bogey, revealing the off-and-on blasts of air had everything to do with it.

“I hit my shortest drive of the year probably by 40 yards on the last hole,” Davis said, describing the conditions as a “four or five-club wind” as he hit back-to-back drivers on the 18th.

Cam Davis found conditions difficult in the second round

“It was a really tough day. Very happy with the way I grinded it out in even par because that felt like a really difficult round.”

Davis was also shocked by Hossler’s score.

“I wouldn’t have said five-under was out there,” Davis said. “I mean, you always expect someone to have a day where things go their way and obviously Beau has just played super great golf. Hats off to him.”

Morikawa, trying to break a mini slump after winning the 2021 Open, is still in the chase but disappointed himself by not meeting the conditions.

“When it was gusting, you had to control your golf ball,” Morikawa said. “I think I counted my fairways when I was walking up 18.

“I hit three fairways today. So, playing out of the rough and playing out of the trees is not easy on this golf course.

“We’re still right there. Four back – obviously a bunch of guys, but I know I can play well because yesterday was nice to play some offense.”

Coverage of the Zozo Championship continues on Sky Sports Golf from 4am on Saturday. Also stream with NOW.

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