Matt Fitzpatrick hit the front at the WGC-HSBC Champions, but Rory McIlroy's second-round 67 ensured he was just a shot further back.
Day one of the WGC-HSBC Champions belonged to Li Haotong, who hit 64 to take a one-shot lead over Victor Perez in Shanghai.
Tiger Woods closed out an historic victory as he moved level with Sam Snead on the all-time PGA Tour list.
Sam Snead's PGA Tour record is in sight for Tiger Woods, who holds a three-shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama at the Zozo Championship.
The start of the second round is scheduled to get underway early on Saturday morning after rain wreaked havoc in Japan.
American superstar Tiger Woods dazzled on day one of the PGA Tour tournament in Japan, once he recovered from a shaky start.
World number one Brooks Koepka said he doesn't view Rory McIlroy as a rival, a comment that the Northern Irishman took no issue with.
Rory McIlroy's lack of majors over the past five years means world number one Brooks Koepka does not view him as a rival.
Matthew Southgate ran him close, but Victor Perez would not be denied at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
A three-time Race to Dubai champion, Rory McIlroy is not anticipating winning it for a fourth time after his FedEx Cup success.