CHIBA – The only thing Japanese fans want to see more than a Tiger Woods victory at the Zozo Championship this week is a win by a home grown talent.
Their two favourite sons, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa, were well placed after the first round at Narashino Country Club on Thursday.
Matsuyama shot five-under-par 65 and was one stroke behind leaders Woods and Gary Woodland, while Ishikawa was four back on 68.
The sellout gallery gave the event an atmosphere like a major.
"I was excited that fans were calling out my name so it became my motivation," said Matsuyama. "We don’t normally have such big crowds.