Gale-force winds wreak havoc on scoring at ZOZO Championship

Only thirteen players in the field managed to shoot under par after the elements took control on day two in Japan.

Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa

Scoring soared in round two at the ZOZO Championship thanks to 20-30 mph winds punishing almost everyone in the field.

The Accordia Golf Narashine Country Club really bared its teeth in the second round of Japan's one and only PGA Tour event, thanks to strong winds that got the better of the majority of golfers.

With only 13 players managing to break par, it was a day of survival for most. While scoring rose for almost every player, America's Beau Hossler managed to shoot a remarkable 5-under 65 to lead the field with a one-shot lead over fellow American Justin Suh heading into the weekend. 

Hossler, 28, is in search of his maiden PGA Tour victory, and when speaking to the media, he remained candid about his chances this week, saying "No disrespect to Japan, but I'll take a win anywhere."

When discussing the harsh conditions, he then added:

"Honestly, just try and deal with it. It is what it is. It makes every shot significantly more difficult, from a three-foot putt to a 260-yard shot into a green. It's a significant challenge on every shot and you just try as much as you can to just focus on the one that's right in front of you and not get ahead of yourself."

Elsewhere in the field, Japan's Sotashi Kodaira and Yuki Inamori both managed to battle the elements to shoot under par and see themselves sitting 3rd and T4th, respectively, heading into the third round. 

Fan favourite Hideki Matsuyama had a day to forget at the tournament, which he proudly won in 2021. The former ZOZO champion carded a 5-over 76 that saw him plummet down the leaderboard to lie T61 alongside American Michael Kim

Round one leader Collin Morikawa also struggled to get to grips with the conditions and shot a 3-over 73, leaving him level par for the tournament at T8, one of the more congested positions in the leaderboard, also held by Keegan Bradley, Cam Davis, Mikumu Horikawa and three others. 

Sitting in fourth place, Emiliano Grillo was one-over on the day, and when he spoke to the media after his round, he thankfully managed to see the funny side when talking about how he got on. 

His first question of the day was, "Emi, how difficult was it?" to which he jokingly responded, "You tell me, you were out there too."

Grillo then went on to give another amusing answer when questioned about what he thought he did well during his round, to which he responded, "Nothing", before breaking out into a brief laugh and finishing his answer with, "No, it was -- I don't know, it was super windy, so I think just keeping the ball in play, keeping patient. I was able to make two birdies in a row, which I'm pretty sure not a lot of people did today, so that helps."

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