TOYOURA, Yamaguchi Pref. – David Smail and Kim Jong Duk brought international flavor to the Japan Open leaderboard Saturday, sharing the third-round lead as both players put themselves in for a chance to become the first foreign winner in five years.
New Zealander Smail shot a 3-under 67 to South Korean Kim’s 70 on a drizzly day to move to 6-under 204 and a step closer to their first major title on the Japanese tour going into Sunday’s final round.
Nobuhito Sato, who led after each of the first two rounds, is one shot adrift at 205 after a 2-over 72 and Yasuharu Imano fired a 67 and moved into contention a further stroke behind.
“Playing in the Japan Open is always tough. This is my fourth time appearing in it and I realize that to win here you need to be mentally tough,” Smail said.
Tseng fires 7-under
CHIBA (Kyodo) Veteran Taiwanese Tseng Hsiu-feng fired a 7-under-par 65 Saturday to take a two-shot lead after two rounds of the Fujitsu Ladies tournament.
Tseng tied the course record with a seven-birdie round, which moved her to a 12-under 132 total in her bid to claim her first title in two years on the Japan LPGA Tour.
She pulled away from first-round leader Chihiro Nakajima with a birdie-birdie finish, holing 13-footers to cap the best round of her 10-year career in Japan.
Nakajima, who matched the course record with an opening-round 65, picked up three strokes on her way to a 10-under 134.
Kyoko Ono shot a 66 and charged into a tie for third at 7-under 137 along with U.S. LPGA player Akiko Fukushima and Mayumi Murai, who both had 70s.
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