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Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama just 2 back

Hideki Matsuyama at the 2021 PGA Championship

Looking for back-to-back main wins, Hideki Matsuyama is just two photographs back midway by means of the PGA Championship. (Darren Carroll/PGA of America/Getty Images

Fresh off his win at Augusta National, Hideki Matsuyama has put himself proper within the combine at one other main championship.

Matsuyama sits just two shots back halfway through the PGA Championship, due to a second-round 68 on Friday on the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

“I really hit my driver and second shots very well today,” Matsuyama stated, “and that gave me a lot of birdie opportunities which I was able to capitalize on.”

He matched co-leader Louis Oosthuizen for the low spherical of the day, which launched him 37 spots up the leaderboard. Matsuyama would have been just a single shot back from Oosthuizen and Mickelson, however an errant bunker shot on the ultimate gap of the day left him with a bogey — just one other signal of how robust the ultimate stretch of the course actually is.

“You’d better make some birdies on those [early] holes because those last four or five holes are very difficult,” Matsuyama stated. “Being able to make birdies on those downwind holes makes it a whole lot easier because you’re not under the pressure. You can lose a stroke here or there on the final holes.”

Matsuyama on the lookout for back-to-back majors

final month along with his commanding victory on the Masters, which sparked an enormous celebration tour back residence.

Before he might rejoice along with his buddies, household and even Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, although, Matsuyama needed to quarantine for 2 weeks as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. By the time he obtained back to the States, he .

That confirmed final week on the AT&T Byron Nelson, his solely look on the PGA Tour between the 2 majors. He completed T39 within the Dallas-area event — which he (*2*) of issues.

Clearly, that appears to have labored.

Matsuyama, after a gap spherical 73, made six birdies on Friday to vault himself into competition. A win this week would put him into an elite class of golfers who’ve gained back-to-back majors. Only Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have achieved that this century.

Matsuyama, nonetheless, isn’t making an attempt to consider that just but.

“Hopefully my play today will carry over to the weekend,” he stated.

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