NAGOYA – Ryo Ishikawa and fellow teenager Hideki Matsuyama both shot 3-under 68s on Thursday, leaving them in a tie for fourth place after the first round of the Japan Open.
Han Lee of the United States had a bogey-free 65 to take a one-shot lead over Hiroyuki Fujita. Australia’s Chris Campbell was another shot back in third in the final major of the year.
The 19-year-old money leader is looking to go one better than his second-place finishes the past two years for his first major title.
“Matsuyama and I both played well. I was able to regroup and make a lot of birdies on the back nine,” Ishikawa said.
Matsuyama, the 18-year-old whose Asian amateur championship victory on Sunday made him the first Japanese amateur ever to qualify for the Masters Tournament, highlighted his round with a tee shot that stopped within inches of the hole on the 222-yard, par-3 16th.
Shingo Katayama, a two-time Japan Open winner, turned in a 71 that put him in a share of 19th with 12 others. Defending champion Ryoichi Oda opened with a 71.