(Photo credit score: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Collin Morikawa carded a 6-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the primary spherical of the Zozo Championship on Thursday in Chiba, Japan.
Morikawa highlighted his bogey-free spherical with 5 birdies over his first eight holes. He resides one shot forward of Robby Shelton, Mikumu Horikawa of Japan, PGA Tour rookie Eric Cole, Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina on the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.
“There’s obviously a little bit more meaning to this tournament for me,” stated Morikawa, who has Japanese heritage on his father’s aspect.
“But look, a win’s a win. I’ll take a win anywhere, right. I’m doing everything I can the next three days and kind of tonight to make sure I give myself the best opportunity to do that.”
Morikawa recorded his third opening spherical of 64 or higher this season. He is in search of his sixth profession title and first since profitable the 2021 Open Championship.
Shelton collected six birdies in opposition to one bogey to publish his lowest first-round rating on the PGA Tour since he shot a 63 on the 2022 Bermuda Championship. He missed the lower in 9 of his final 11 begins on the tour.
“(I) just got off to a good start with the putter,” Shelton stated. “I hit a few greens early and the putts fell. Kind of got me a little calmer out there and just kind of rode it. Played well on the back and had the birdie on 18 to finish it off.”
Zac Blair sits at 4-under, one shot forward of a nine-man contingent that features Xander Schauffele and defending champion Keegan Bradley.
“Birdied all the par 5s, which is always a good thing, and played them — was able to hit the green in two on two out of three. Pretty happy,” Schauffele stated. “Got a little windy through certain parts of the round and I wasn’t able to hit sort — the times I hit the fairway, I wasn’t able to sort of capitalize on a good wedge shot, so probably going to go try and clean that up right now.”
Bradley, who birdied his ultimate two holes on Thursday, broke out of a four-year winless hunch when he captured final yr’s Zozo title. He went on to win once more through the summer season on the Travelers Championship and rose to No. 16 within the Official World Golf Ranking.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan went 3-under over his ultimate 5 holes to complete at 1-under 69.
–Field Level Media