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Hideki Matsuyama six shots back after solid second round

Kyodo

Hideki Matsuyama shot a second-round 69 on Saturday to move eight spots up the leaderboard at the Dell Technologies Championship, but still dropped back from the lead as Webb Simpson carded an 8-under 63 to go clear at the top. Simpson is at 11-under for the tournament.

World No. 19 Matsuyama improved on his opening round 71 at TPC Boston with a hot-shooting front nine in which he carded four birdies and a bogey, but was unable to maintain the pace after the turn, finishing the back nine 1-over. He sits in a 17-way tie for 34th at 2-under going into Sunday’s third round.

“I made a mistake, missing short putts at numbers six and 10, which I let affect my tee shots,” said Matsuyama, who is looking for his maiden win of 2018 at this, the second FedEx Cup Playoffs event.

“I at least made the cut, so I would like to improve my shot-making and putt well so I can start afresh for the final two days.”

First-round leader Justin Rose shot a 67 and sits in a tie for second at 10-under with fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton, one shot behind Simpson.

After a difficult first day, Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm were big movers on Saturday.

Woods shot a 5-under 66 to rise 36 spots on the leaderboard and Rahm, the world No. 5 from Spain, leaped the same number of places with a 67. Woods is seven shots off the pace and Rahm is tied with Matsuyama at 2-under.

Satoshi Kodaira missed the cut after following his opening-day 76 with a 72 to finish 6-over. The 28-year-old 2018 RBC Heritage champion was one of three tournament winners from this season to be eliminated from the FedEx Cup race.

The FedEx Cup Playoffs started with the Aug. 23-26 Northern Trust, after which the original field of 125 was cut to 100. The race for the FedEx Cup will be trimmed to 70 after the Dell Technologies Championship, and to 30 after the BMW Championship.

The top 30 will then play in the Tour Championship on Sept. 20 to 23 at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.