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Matsuyama avoids early exit in Massachusetts

Kyodo

Hideki Matsuyama managed to avoid missing the cut for the second straight week after a second-round par 71 at the Dell Technologies Championship on Saturday.

Matsuyama slid down five places on the leaderboard to 47th at the TPC Boston, but it was good enough to qualify him for the weekend in the second event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Jon Rahm of Spain, playing in the same threesome with Matsuyama, unseated Dustin Johnson for the lead with a 66 on the day that left him at 9 under, two shots better than a pack of four golfers tied for second.

Matsuyama said his game is still out of whack, but was relieved to know he will be playing all four days.

“I’m exhausted. (My feel) is just not coming back,” said Matsuyama, who is fourth in the FedEx Cup standings. “If it does, I think I can make a run at it, but it hasn’t, and I feel fortunate to have made the cut.”

Starting his round on the back nine, his tee shot on the 15th found a fairway bunker, and he needed two shots to climb out. He just missed a 27-foot par putt and escaped with a bogey.

In the past, most of Matsuyama’s troubles have come on the greens, but he putted fairly well and made the turn at 1-under par. Putter trouble struck soon after, missing a 4-foot par putt on No. 1 for a bogey and an 11-foot birdie putt on No. 2. He got one stroke back, however, by sinking a birdie from 13 feet. Matsuyama finished at even par for the day after a birdie on the par-3 eighth, when his tee shot landed 18 inches from the pin.

“I’ll be back at it tomorrow,” Matsuyama said. “I didn’t want to miss the cut for the second week in a row so I’m glad about that.”