• Kyodo


European No. 1 Sophie Gustafson became the first women to play on the Japanese men’s tour on Thursday but got off to a stuttering start with a 2-over-par 74 in the first round of the Casio World Open.

Teeing off from the 10th hole, the 29-year-old Swede collected two birdies through a bogey-free first nine holes to make the turn on 34 but was unable to maintain the momentum and had four bogeys on her outward journey at Ibusuki Golf Club in Kagoshima Prefecture.

Gustafson closed out in a share of 68th, nine strokes behind leader Katsumune Imai, who had five birdies and an eagle en route to a flawless 7-under-par 65 for a two-stroke lead.

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