Golf: Masters champion Matsuyama happy with Torrey Pines debut at US Open

Hideki Matsuyama continued to tackle the Asian challenge with a strong start with 2 Under 69, which tied him for fifth and as the top Asian in the standings on the troubled first day of the US Open in San Diego.

No one understands the pressure of being a champion and the expectations that come with being a Masters winner, other than Matsuyama. The Japanese star appeared again in the standings of another major league on Thursday.

Matsuyama shared fifth place with two-time champion Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Xander Sc Chaudele and sits behind clubhouse frontman Russell Henley. Henley had six birdies against two bogeys.

Louis Oosthuizen is sitting on 4 under with two holes remaining when darkness suspended play at Torrey Pines.

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Korea’s Si Woo Kim returned an even par 71 that featured five birdies while Sungjae Im was 1 of 16 holes. Sung Kang signed for a 75 while KH Lee shot a 76 to leave some work Friday to make the cut halfway.

Two Americans of Indian origin are also on the ground. Stars of Indian origin, Akshay Bhatia comes out with 73 and Sahith Theegala with 76 after a good new front.

Matsuyama, 29, registered three birdies against a lone bogey to embark on the race to glory. In April, he became only the second Asian male golfer to win a major tournament and the first male golfer from his country to achieve the feat.

He drained a roughly 50-foot long putt on the 11th par 3 hole, which was the highlight of his day after hitting a nine-footer on the No. 3 and a 13-footer on the 10.

“I played really well today and hope I can keep the same momentum going,” said Matsuyama, six-time PGA TOUR title winner. “I’m enjoying it a lot here. I’m glad it’s a (US Open) venue, but it was definitely a lot harder than when we were playing here at the Farmers (Insurance Open).

Making his ninth start at the US Open, Matsuyama’s best is tied for second in 2017 at Erin Hills and she’s showing the kind of form that could see him fight for more success this weekend. His breakthrough at Augusta National has undoubtedly added to the frenzy for the game in Japan, which is golf’s biggest market after the United States and he knows the weight of a passionate golf nation rests squarely on his shoulders. .

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“All I can do is do my best. It’s good to be a big title winner, and I hope that momentum continues this week. Around the greens is very difficult, especially compared to when we are playing earlier in the year. It will be a really tough test, and there are some places you can’t miss it around the greens.

“It’s a special week. It’s not just a major, but it requires you to drive the ball down the fairway and hit the greens. Fairways and greens are really important. The par is a good score at the US Open. You just have to avoid the bogeys from time to time.

Three-time TOUR winner Kim paid dearly for a double bogey on the 12th hole after struggling with the rough that punishes errant practices. However, the young Korean fired back with birdies on holes 1, 2, 7, 16 and 18, against three other bogeys on his map.

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