Storms made the second round of Tokyo 2020 men’s golf until this morning, July 30, just ended.
Opening from July 29 on the East Kasumigaseki Stadium, par71, the medal contest encountered bad weather for two consecutive days due to Typhoon Nepartak. Yesterday, rain and thunder caused the second leg to be delayed for more than two hours, then stopped altogether due to the unfavorable situation.
Therefore, 16 players have not finished their work, of which six have four holes left. They, including Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama, had to settle the backlog this morning and go into the third round. Matsuyama birdie-par the remaining two holes. For the whole game, he got seven birdies and no bogey.
Xander Schauffele finished the match on time, with two eagles, six birdies and two bogeys. He scored the first eagle on the par4 6 hole, then hit the green with a 3 wooden stick, three meters from the target. This hole, the organizers pushed the teeing position closer to the green because the fairway was still soggy after the rain the day before.
On the par5 14th hole, Schauffele got her second eagle from a 13.7 meter putt. Particularly in the second half of the field, the American player scored round -5.
“I was excited at the end and finished the game in time,” Schauffele said Golf Channel. The organizers blew the whistle to stop the round not long after he closed the 18th hole at par. In this match, Schauffele hit 63 strokes, like Austrian Sepp Straka in the opening round. Both hit the Olympic record set by Matt Kuchar at Rio 2016.
Thanks to yesterday’s breakthrough, Schauffele went to the top of the table at -11, leading Carlos Ortiz by one stroke, two strokes from Matsuyama. Straka led the opening stage, but only the next par match should be down to T4 (point -8). Right behind this position are T7 (-6) including Paul Casey (England), Jazz Janewattananond (Thai), Shane Lowry (Ireland) and Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland).
The US team is considered the strongest in golf Tokyo 2020 because four members are in the top 12 in the world, including Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Schauffele and Patrick Reed. In this lineup, Morikawa, Thomas, and Schauffele occupy the 3-5 OWGR bracket, respectively, while Reed ranks 12th.
But after two days, only Schauffele improved and three teammates remained weak. Out of these, Thomas is the worst – standing at T40 (-1), Morikawa and Reed with T24 (-3).
For Schauffele, Tokyo 2020 is a trip back to her mother’s hometown because her Japanese mother and grandparents still live in the country of peach blossom. His father, Stefan, was a German all-around athlete. However, Stefan’s career ended at the age of 20 after a car accident on the way to the national team training point. At that time, he damaged his left eye, multiple injuries due to a hit by a drunk driver.
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