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Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata leads and eagles land

Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata leads and eagles land

The PGA Tour landed on the other side of the world this week as the Zozo Championship – which was played at Sherwood Country Club in Lake Sherwood, California, in 2020 for one year only as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – returned to Japan. It’s more insomnia golf than coffee golf, so for those who didn’t catch the action, we’re here to catch you up.

Just like last week, there’s no cut in the Zozo Championship. Players are guaranteed four rounds at Accordia Golf Narashino, located just east of Tokyo. Want a reminder that will give you chills? This is the same course where Tiger Woods earned his 82nd PGA Tour title in 2019 to tie Sam Snead’s record. Cue the flashbacks.

1. Welcome back, Hiroshi

Unfamiliar with the name Hiroshi Iwata? It’s because the Japanese player hasn’t made a PGA Tour start since 2017.

On Thursday, the 40-year-old opened the Zozo Championship with a 7-under 63 that included three closing birdies. He’s currently one shot ahead of Chile’s Joaquin Niemann and compatriot Hideki Matsuyama, a local hero after his Masters victory last spring.

So who is Iwata? He’s a three-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, with the most recent victory coming…

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