GOTEMBA, Shizuoko Pref. – Ben Curtis stayed on course for a career second victory by shooting a 3-under-par 69 and maintaining his overnight lead after two rounds at the Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters on Friday.
Curtis, who in July became the first PGA tour rookie in 90 years to win a major championship in his first try at the British Open, carded four birdies against a bogey at Taiheiyo Club’s Gotemba Course for a 10-under 134 total and a two-stroke advantage over the field.
American Curtis and Robert Allenby of Australia are the two overseas invitees in the 150 million yen tournament, and both were among the 62 golfers who survived the cut at 4-over 148.
Toshimitsu Izawa, currently second in the Japanese money rankings, and Azuma Yano also shot 69s to find themselves in a four-way tie for second at 136 along with Tomohiro Kondo, who recorded his second straight 68, and Masashi Ozaki, who went round in 70.
Four sit on top
CHONAN, Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Kasumi Fujii safely sank five birdies en route to a 3-under-par 69 to sit in a four-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the Itoen Ladies on Friday.
Fujii was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Hiroko Yamaguchi, Masaki Maeda and Ji Yeon Han of South Korea.
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