• Kyodo

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Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama carded a 4-under 68 in the second round of the PGA Championship on Friday to finish the day two strokes behind joint leaders Louis Oosthuizen and Phil Mickelson.

Starting six strokes off the lead after an opening-round 73, Matsuyama shot six birdies against two bogeys to sit at 3-under through two days at Kiawah Island Resort’s Ocean Course.

“I was steady off the tee and with my second shots, so I created a lot of chances. I think I was able to play good golf,” Matsuyama said.

The 29-year-old from Japan, who is attempting to win back-to-back majors, said he aimed to carry his momentum into the next round.

“The third day is going to be very important. I don’t want to waste my opportunity,” he said.

South Africa’s Oosthuizen and American Mickelson, a five-time major winner, are at 5-under after rounds of 68 and 69, respectively, on Friday.

Former PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka of the United States sits one stroke ahead of Matsuyama in third after firing a 69. The overnight leader, Canada’s Corey Conners, dropped back into a tie for seventh after shooting a 3-over 75.

Matsuyama is playing his second tournament since returning from a month-long break following the Masters in April at Augusta, where he became the first Japanese man to win a major.

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