Beau Hossler rode the wind to the top of the leaderboard.
Hossler, from Rancho Santa Margarita, posted a score of five-under-par 65 in breezy conditions to take a one-stroke lead over Justin Suh of San Jose and USC midway through the Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan, on the outskirts of Tokyo.
This is the fourth of seven tournaments in the PGA Tour’s Fall Series.
“I would say anything under par was a really quality score in that wind,” said the 28-year-old Hossler, who is seeking his first PGA Tour victory. “So to shoot five-under-par was pretty incredible.
“The wind 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.”
“No disrespect to Japan, but I’ll take a win anywhere. I’ve been playing well lately. It’s a difficult golf course in spots, but it’s a very gettable golf course in spots.”
Hossler, who lost to Ian Poulter of England in a playoff at the 2018 Houston Open, collected seven birdies against his two bogeys in the second round to record a 36-hole score of seven-under-par 133.
Suh made three straight birdies through the eighth hole and added three more coming home against two bogeys in his 66.
“I didn’t have any big misses and made some putts, so that kind of sums up my round,” said Suh, who captured the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Championship, but also is looking for his first PGA Tour victory.
Satoshi Kodaira of Japan made three birdies in four holes during the middle of his 68 and is two shots behind in solo fourth, while six-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State birdied his first and last holes in a 69 that put him three down in a tie for fourth with Yuki Inamori of Japan, who had four birdies on his back nine in his 67, Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who made only two birdies in a 71, and rookie Eric Cole of Palm Springs, who had two birdies on each nine in another 71.
Defending champion Keegan Bradley started at No. 10 and made all four of his birdies on the back nine in a 70 that left him four strokes down in a big tie for eighth with first-round leader Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, who struggled to a 73 that included three birdies; J.J. Spaun of Los Angeles and San Diego State, who made his fourth birdie on the last hole to cap a 68; Cam Davis of Australia, who had two late birdies in a 70; Ryo Ishikawa of Japan, who made three birdies on the front nine in a 69; Robby Shelton, who made a fourth birdie on his last hole to salvage a 72, and Mikumu Horikawa of Japan, who had a late birdies in another 72.
Local favorite Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who won the 2021 Zozo Championship, made only one birdie while struggling to a 76 and is tied for 61st.
For complete results and third-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard