/

Hiratsuka maintains strong form in Japan PGA Championship

Kyodo News

Tetsuji Hiratsuka shot a 6-under 64 Friday to hold a three-shot lead at the halfway point of the Japan PGA Championship, the first of the JGTO Tour’s three majors in 2010.

A five-time winner on the tour, Hiratsuka had an eagle, five birdies and one bogey to get to 8-under 132 at Passage Kinkai Island Golf Club. Hiroshi Iwata turned in a 67 to place second.

Four shots back in a tie for third were Kim Kyung Tae (67), Tadahiro Takayama (68) and Shingo Katayama (70).

First-round leader Kenichi Kuboya dropped into a tie for sixth at 3 under after a 72. Defending champion Yuta Ikeda shot a 71 to stand two more shots back.

Ryo Ishikawa missed the cut in this event for the third straight year after hitting the ball out of bounds three times in a disastrous 78.

Yokomine shares lead

ASAKURA , Fukuoka Pref. (Kyodo) Sakura Yokomine shot a 3-under 69 to share the lead with Yuri Fudo and Shin Hyun Ju after the first round of the Fundokin Ladies on Friday.

The 2009 Japan LPGA money queen had four birdies against a bogey at Fukuoka Century Golf Club, while Fudo, a six-time money leader, and South Korean Shin each had five birdies and two bogeys.

Yokomine has made five top-10 finishes in eight starts this season but is yet to win a tournament. She finished runnerup to Morgan Pressel at the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup last week.

Yukari Baba made a hole-in-one on the par-3 second hole and was a shot behind the leaders, alone in fourth.

Akiko Fukushima and Asako Fujimoto were in a four-way tie for fifth another stroke back.