• Kyodo


Hideki Matsuyama carded a 2-under-par 70 to sit four strokes off the pace after the first round of the Cadillac Championship on Thursday.

Matsuyama, back in action after pulling out midway through last week’s Honda Classic with a hip issue, shot an eagle, three birdies and as many bogeys to finish the day in a five-way tie for 11th.

“I didn’t feel any pain at all and was able to focus on my golf,” said Matsuyama, who after getting into trouble and bogeying his opening hole at the 10th, sank a nine-foot eagle putt at the par-5 12th.

“My shots were not that good but I got into a good rhythm after the eagle putt and my putting got better after that. I am glad I could go around under par. I am not demanding too much of myself so I am satisfied,” added Matsuyama.

Matsuyama, who posted his second win on the U.S. PGA Tour at the Phoenix Open last month, rebounded from another bogey at the 14th with back-to-back 8-foot birdie putts from the next hole.

He picked up another shot on No. 1 but was left frustrated after missing a 10-inch par putt at the par-3 fourth.

“Everything went a bit downhill after that,” Matsuyama said of his bogey at the fourth. “I have only just recovered (from the hip injury). But even if I am in good condition it doesn’t necessarily mean that I will get a good result.”

Scott Piercy fired a 66 and shared the first-round lead with Australian Marcus Fraser, with Phil Mickelson alone in third place after a 67.

Yusaku Miyazato struggled to an opening round of 76.

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