CHIBA, Japan (AP) — Japanese golfer Hiroshi Iwata shot a 7-under 63 Thursday to take the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship.

Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during first round of the CJ Cup golf tournament Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during first round of the CJ Cup golf tournament Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

CHIBA, Japan (AP) — Japanese golfer Hiroshi Iwata shot a 7-under 63 Thursday to take the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship.

Iwata had a one-stroke lead over Joaquin Niemann and 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama on the par-70, 7,041-yard Narashino Country Club course.

Japanese golfer Hiroshi Iwata plays an approach shot to take the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship on Narashino Country Club course in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Thursday, Oct, 21, 2021. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japanese golfer Hiroshi Iwata plays an approach shot to take the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship on Narashino Country Club course in Chiba, east of Tokyo, Thursday, Oct, 21, 2021. (Kyodo News via AP)

Defending champion Patrick Cantlay is taking the rest of the year off and is not playing in what has turned out to be the only PGA tournament on the Asia swing. Only three of the top 20 in the world are playing in Chiba.

Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner Xander Schauffele shot 70, as did Rickie Fowler, who is playing on a sponsor’s exemption for the second straight year.

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., also shot a 70 while Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., shot a 2-over 72.

British Open champion Collin Morikawa shot 71.

Tiger Woods won his 82nd career PGA Tour title at Narashino in 2019.

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