Hideki Matsuyama leads the way at the halfway stage of the ZOZO Championship, carding a 68 on day two to lead by a shot from Cameron Tringale.
Matsuyama finished second in the inaugural playing of the tournament in 2019, three shots behind Tiger Woods, so he is back with a vengeance in Japan this week.
The Masters champion started on the 10th hole in his second round and he made two birdies and one bogey in his first nine holes.
In what was a tough day of scoring at Narashino Country Club due to the weather, Matsuyama only managed one more birdie on the back nine to finish with a steady score of 2-under-par.
Trees hole high— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 22, 2021
Hideki Matsuyama makes it look simple. pic.twitter.com/26XXnFmnaO
The 29-year-old reached 8-under-par and one shot ahead of Cameron Tringale who equalled the low score of the day with a 4-under-par 66.
Englishman Matt Wallace, who came close to winning his first PGA Tour event at last season's Valero Texas Open, is two shots behind on 6-under-par.
Wallace impressively birdied his final three holes on Friday to card a 1-under-par 69. Unfortunately, overnight leader Hiroshi Iwata struggled to a 3-over-par 73 to fall four shots behind.
Tommy Fleetwood, who has enjoyed engaging with the Japanese fans this week, finished on 5-under-par after his second round with a 2-under-par 68, as did Joaquin Niemann.
Open champion Collin Morikawa entered the red figures on Friday. His 68 moved him to 1-under-par for the week, while Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele is 4-over-par.