HAMAMATSU, SHIZUOKA PREF. – Azuma Yano brandished a hot putter on the front nine to storm into the lead going in the final round of the Totoumi Hamamatsu Open on Saturday.
Yano made five of seven birdies before the turn at Grandee Hamanako Golf Club, collecting two more shots against a lone bogey on the 11th to reach 16-under 200.
The 33-year-old, whose last victory came at the 2008 Bridgestone Open, is three shots clear of Tetsuya Haraguchi (65), Masanori Kobayashi (68), and joint overnight leaders Sushi Ishigaki (70) and Liang Wenchong of China (70).
“I didn’t make any mistakes at all today and that must be the first time,” said Yano, who sealed his round with a 19-foot birdie putt on the 18th. “I’ve never played like this before.”
“If I hit the balls the way I want to tomorrow then I will be in with a chance of winning for sure,” he added.