What proved to be quite a testing opening round at the BMW Championship, Hideki Matsuyama was one of only three players to finish under par at Olympia Fields on Thursday.
The Japanese golfer took the lead in the second FedEx Cup playoff event with a pretty solid 3-under-par 67 to start the weekend with.
Four birdies on the opening nine holes gave Matsuyama the best possible platform to begin with but he endured a much more difficult back nine as he came home with three bogeys and two birdies.
For a share of the lead …
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 27, 2020
It was, however, enough for the five-time PGA Tour winner to grab a one-shot lead by the close of play ahead of America’s Tyler Duncan, while Canadian Mackenzie Hughes finished the first round a further stoke back in 3rd spot and on 1 under for the tournament.
It was also a difficult start for South African duo Dylan Frittelli and Louis Oosthuizen, who both concluded the opening day’s play with a 2-over-par 72.
Both Frittelli and Oosthuizen require a good finish come Sunday in order to make the top-30 on the FedEx Cup standings in order to advance to the season-concluding Tour Championship next week.
But, with only 70 players in the field in Illinois and majority of them enduring a difficult start on Thursday, Frittelli and Oosthuizen are still in a pretty good position to challenge the rest of the field on Friday and over the weekend.
FedEx Cup leader and the new world No 1 Dustin Johnson made a cautious start to his week with an opening-round 71, which saw him finish his round on 1 over par and in T14.