• Kyodo

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First-round co-leader Scott Laycock of Australia fired his second straight 66 Friday to go two shots clear atop the leaderboard at the halfway point of the Bridgestone Open.

Laycock, aiming for his first career title in his third full year on the Japanese tour, made four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine in a six-birdie, bogey-free round that moved him to 12-under 132 at the Sodegaura Country Club.

Money leader Toru Taniguchi climbed into a tie for second at 134 after shooting a 67 with eight birdies, including a chip-in on the 18th, and three bogeys.

Fukushima tied at top

MINORI, Ibaraki Pref. (Kyodo) U.S. LPGA player Akiko Fukushima got off to a strong start in her bid for a second victory in Japan this year, shooting a first-round 68 to share the lead with Kasumi Fujii and Mayumi Hirase on Friday at the Hisako Higuchi Classic.

One shot behind the joint leaders is Mie Nakata, with leading money earner Yuri Fudo in a six-way tie at 70.

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