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SHANGHAI – Hideki Matsuyama made nine birdies in suddenly chilly conditions Friday for a 7-under 65 that gave him a three-shot lead going into the weekend at the HSBC Champions.
Neither the rain nor the bone-chilling cold seem to matter to the Japanese star. He has 19 birdies over two rounds, even though Matsuyama remains dissatisfied with how he is hitting the ball. He was at 13-under 131.
Defending champion Russell Knox had a 68, while Bill Haas had a 67 and were at 10-under 134.
Rory McIlroy did his best to get back in the game, slowed only by an errant tee shot on the 16th that led to his lone bogey in a round of 66. He was six shots behind.
Rickie Fowler (73) slipped to seven shots back.