Short game key to Matsuyama's hot start in Phoenix

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Hideki Matsuyama hit only 10 greens on Friday, but he was able to scramble around TPC Scottsdale for a 1-under 71 and now heads into the weekend with a good chance at his first PGA Tour win since the 2014 Memorial Tournament.

"These first two rounds, my short game has really saved me," he said through a translator.

The No. 19-ranked player in the world was 2-for-4 in sand saves and 5-for-8 in scrambling in the second round. He took 27 putts in Round 1 and 26 putts in Round 2.

Matsuyama said he needs more putts to fall to get back into the winner's circle. Last year he didn't hoist a trophy, but he recorded 10 top-10s around the world.

"It really comes down to making putts, especially when you have birdie chances," he said. "That's what makes the difference of winning and not."