• Kyodo

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Soshi Tajima birdied six of his first nine holes on the way to a scorching 8-under 64 and a two-stroke lead after the first round of the rain-interrupted Hisamitsu-KBC Augusta Golf Tournament on Thursday.

The 26-year-old from Gunma Prefecture, yet to win in his three-year career on the Japanese tour, had a pair of birdies after the turn to complete a flawless round at Keya Golf Club in Fukuoka Prefecture where a downpour held up play for almost two hours.

Fiji’s Dinesh Chand had seven birdies, blotting his scorecard just once on the par-3 17th, to stand alone in second while Naomichi Ozaki and four other players were another shot off the pace.

Elsewhere, Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, a four-time winner of this event, carded a 70 and was in a tie for 27th, while defending champion Takenori Hiraishi got off to a sluggish start and holed out for a share of 43rd.

Australia’s Brendan Jones, winner of the Sun Chlorella Classic earlier this month, is sitting out the 100 million yen event. The winner will take home 20 million yen on Sunday.

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