Skip to main content

Embracing the home-like weather in Japan, England's Matt Wallace two back at Zozo

Getty Images

It was a frustrating summer for England’s Matt Wallace. After a tie for sixth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, he didn’t record anything better than a T-40 on the PGA Tour for the remainder of the season.

He made it to the first round of the FedExCup playoffs, but withdrew from The Northern Trust after an opening 79.

It wasn’t much better on the European Tour as a T-8 in July’s Cazoo Open was his only top-25 finish during a similar stretch.

Maybe he just needed the season to change, in more ways than one.

Full-field scores from the Zozo Championship

After a missed cut in the Sanderson Farms Championship, his first event of the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 campaign, Wallace tied for 14th at the Shriners Children’s Open. He’s now T-3 through 36 holes at the Zozo Championship.

As summer has also turned to fall, and with wet, cold weather taking hold on Friday in Japan, Wallace shot 1-under 69, making birdie on his final three holes of the second round. At 6 under, he’s two back of leader Hideki Matsuyama.

Amid cold and rain, Hideki leads Zozo in Japan

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama overcame cold temperatures and often steady rain showers to shoot a 2-under 68 Friday.

As for the playing conditions?

“Well, I like it,” he said. “It's kind of like home, but you've got to enjoy it and you've got to embrace it. Out there I just felt like pars were good scores.”

Wallace, 31, has never won on the PGA Tour and his last victory on the European Tour came as part of a three-win 2018 season. If that should change this week, he says he’ll need a little bit of fine-tuning over the weekend.

“My putting hasn't been quite on, but I went and did some work with my coach last week and starting to see the ball roll how I want to, so I've holed a couple good putts. I've missed a few, but I've holed a couple good ones,” he said. “I need to get my swing sorted. I haven't hit it as well as I have done two weeks ago, so if I'm going to put it together, we'll be there come Sunday.”