Co-leader Fowler ready for title tilt at Zozo Championship

By Sports Desk October 14, 2022

Rickie Fowler is hoping to put on a show over the weekend at the Zozo Championship after moving into a share of the lead.

The American shot a blemish-free 63 at the Narashino Country Club on Friday to sit level with Andrew Putnam on 10 under. Putnam went one better than Fowler with a 62.

Keegan Bradley, one stroke back, provides the closest competition to the leading pair while first-round leader Brendan Steele's 73 saw him fall seven shots off the pace.

Fowler, who missed the cut at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last time out, is having a ball in Japan and looking forward to wowing the crowd in pursuit of a sixth PGA Tour title.

"I definitely enjoy myself over here and the people are awesome. It is really cool to play in front of the Japanese fans," he said.

"I'm hoping we can give them more good golf over the weekend.

"I'm very happy with where we're at. Obviously didn't have the week we wanted last week, drove it poorly, but with some of the changes we've made and to have the finish that we did at Napa [T6 at the Fortinet Championship] and kind of seeing a lot of good things, I'm definitely happy about it and excited to be here and off to a good start."

John Huh's 61 was the best round of the day and saw him climb to eight under, one stroke ahead of Japanese home hope Keita Nakajima.

Headline act and 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is not likely to figure in the battle for silverware but did move back to even par with a 69.

Related items

  • Scottie Scheffler five strokes ahead with weather forcing a Monday finish Scottie Scheffler five strokes ahead with weather forcing a Monday finish

    Scottie Scheffler has a five stroke lead with just three holes to play after rain halted play in the RBC Heritage on Sunday.

    The US Open champion and world number one continued his great form at Hilton Head in South Carolina on the fourth day of the tournament, hitting an eagle and two birdies across 15 holes.

    A storm stopped play for two and a half hours with darkness forcing a finish on Monday.

    Fellow American Wyndham Clark had a strong day through his 18 holes, moving into second place with eight birdies and an eagle, but two bogeys and a double bogey stopped him from further encroaching on Scheffler’s lead.

    Clark is tied with American’s Patrick Cantlay and J T Poston, who have one hole left to play and Sahith Theegala, who has three holes left to play.

    Scheffler is looking for his fourth win in five starts.

  • Masters champion Scottie Scheffler closing in on victory at Hilton Head Masters champion Scottie Scheffler closing in on victory at Hilton Head

    Scottie Scheffler’s PGA Tour dominance looks to be showing no signs of slowing down as the world number one heads into the final day of the RBC Heritage with a one shot lead on 16 under.

    Fresh off securing his second Masters title in three years, the 27-year-old shot up the leaderboard at Hilton Head on Saturday with a bogey-free third round score of eight under 63.

    He leads by one stroke from Austria’s Sepp Straka, while America’s Collin Morikawa sits outright third on 14 under.

    Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy carded a second straight round of 68 to be tied for 12th place on 10 under.

    Meanwhile, defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick is tied for 25th after the Englishman carded a third round score of 70.

  • Lauren Coughlin holds first-round lead at the Chevron Championship Lauren Coughlin holds first-round lead at the Chevron Championship

    After shooting an opening 66 at the Chevron Championship in Texas on Thursday, American golfer Lauren Coughlin has a first-round lead for just the second time in her career.

    Coughlin went bogey-free with three birdies on the front nine and three on the back nine on the first day of the tournament.

    She hit 14 of 18 greens, recorded 10 one-putts and needed just 26 putts overall to get through her first round.

    “I think my husband and I had a really good game plan, and I wasn’t trying to be too aggressive out there. Just trying to take a 30-footer or, I might have a chip here or there, just knowing that that’s the appropriate place to be,” she said.

    Her husband, John Pond, recently started caddying for her.

    She added: “Not trying to be too aggressive in certain spots and taking what, certainly there’s some holes, good pins and stuff that you can go at stuff, but overall, I was just trying to take what it would give me and not trying to force anything.”

    Coughlin is making her 11th appearance in an LPGA Tour major championship this week. The American has made the cut in just two of her 10 previous starts in majors, but finished T15 and T16, respectively, in the 2023 and 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

    Two strokes behind Coughlin are two-time LPGA Tour winner Marina Alex, eight-time JLPGA winner Minami Katsu and major champion Nelly Korda, who is chasing her fifth win in as many consecutive starts on Tour.

    Defending champion Lilia Vu withdrew from the Chevron Championship moments before her first-round tee-off on Thursday due to a back injury.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.