Masters champion Matsuyama retains Zozo Championship lead

By Sports Desk October 23, 2021

Hideki Matsuyama will head into Sunday with a slender one-shot lead in the Zozo Championship on home soil.

The 2021 Masters champion carded a 68 to remain a stroke clear of Cameron Tringale on 10 under in Chiba, Japan.

Matsuyama had looked set for a more comfortable night's sleep on Saturday, but a bogey six at the last coupled with a birdie on the same hole for Tringale cut his advantage.

Sebastian Munoz, Brendan Steele and Matt Wallace all sit on six under par, with Branden Grace and Tommy Fleetwood on the fringes of contention a shot further back.

Reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa's third-round 67 put him within six of the leader.

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    The tournament sees a field of major champions compete alongside their children or parents and takes place between December 16 and 19 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando.

    Woods suffered open fractures to the tibia and fibula in his right leg after a car crash in February and has not played competitively since.

    The 45-year-old has ruled out a full-time return, but revealed his desire to play on a part-time basis and will officially make his comeback at the upcoming event alongside his son, Charlie.

    The pair played in the competition last year, finishing in joint-seventh place.

    "Although it's been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the PNC Championship with my son Charlie," Woods, a 15-time major winner, wrote on social media. 

    "I'm playing as a dad and couldn't be more excited and proud."

    Woods' return to competitive action was welcomed by Alastair Johnston, the tournament's executive chairman.

    "I am delighted to confirm that Tiger and Charlie Woods will be participating in the 2021 PNC Championship," Johnston said. 

    "We have been liaising with Tiger and his team for some time and are delighted that he has now decided to make his return to competitive golf at the PNC Championship."

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    Viktor Hovland turned the impossible possible on Sunday, overcoming a six-stroke deficit to win the Hero World Challenge.

    Collin Morikawa was five shots clear at the start of the final round as the American closed in on the world number one ranking, but Hovland had other ideas in the Bahamas.

    On a chaotic day, Hovland – in his first start since claiming the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba – rallied to a stunning one-shot victory with consecutive eagles and a birdie from the 14th and 16th holes.

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    "I didn't think a win was going to be very possible," said the 24-year-old Norwegian star Hovland. "But I know this course is tricky.

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    Morikawa appeared poised to add another piece of silverware to his collection in pursuit of golf's top ranking, but the reigning Open Championship winner crumbled, missing three birdie chances from 10 feet or closer to start the round.

    Two triple-bogeys and a bogey capped a forgettable front nine for Morikawa, who dropped another shot at his final hole to end the event tied for fifth – four shots adrift of Hovland, alongside Justin Thomas (64).

    Sam Burns shot a three-under-par 69 to earn a share of third spot with former Masters champion Patrick Reed (69).

    A four-time major winner, Brooks Koepka had to settle for a slice of ninth position at Albany Golf Club following his two-over-par 74.

    Bryson DeChambeau – beaten by rival Koepka in their exhibition showdown in Las Vegas – closed with consecutive rounds in the 70s after going two over on the fourth day.

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    Morikawa started Saturday's session at Albany Golf Club as one of three players a stroke behind leader Bryson DeChambeau after an unfortunate bogey on the final hole on day two.

    DeChambeau's lead quickly evaporated with a bogey on the opening hole, however, and the American struggled with three more bogeys on the back nine to finish one-over-par for the day as he slipped down to ninth.

    Open champion Morikawa took full advantage by firing an eight-under 64 in a round that included six birdies and an eagle chip-in on the par-five third.

    Morikawa, who last month became the first American to win the Race to Dubai with a victory at the DP World Tour, is now 18-under after 54 holes on the 20-man field.

    Fellow American Brooks Koepka shot 69, his only blemish a double-bogey on the par-three eighth, to move into second place behind Morikawa.

    Daniel Berger dropped two shots on the final three holes and joins Patrick Reed, Viktor Hovland, Sam Burns and Tony Finau in a tie for third, six strokes behind Morikawa.

    The performance of the day belonged to Harris English thanks to his 10 birdies, though it was not quite a blemish-free round as he dropped a shot on hole one.

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