CHIBA (Kyodo) Unheralded Tadahiro Takayama birdied six of his first nine holes on the way to equaling the day’s low of 7-under-par 65 Friday for a one-shot lead at the midway point of the Bridgestone Open.

Teeing off from the 10th hole, Takayama had a bogey-free inward journey of 30 at Sodegaura Country Club’s Sodegaura Course and made two more birdies before dropping his only shot of the day on the seventh for a one-stroke lead over Katsumune Imai on 10-under 134.

Imai had seven birdies and a bogey on his way to a 66 to sit alone in second place while Tomohiro Kondo was another stroke off the lead after a 2-under 70.

Overnight joint leader Taniguchi, who won his first title in two years on the tour at the Japan Open, had a bogey-double bogey finish in a round of 71 and was among a quartet of golfers including Japan Open runnerup David Smail of New Zealand on 137.

Elsewhere, U.S. PGA Tour player Shigeki Maruyama, who is playing in his first tour event in Japan in three years, recovered from a first-round 74 with a 68 but still trails the leader by eight shots on 142.

Koga leads by one

MIKI, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Miho Koga, who is winless on the Japanese tour this season, shot a 4-under 68 at the Masters Golf Club on Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Masters GC Ladies.

Money rankings leader Yuri Fudo fired a 69 and was one shot off the pace in a group of seven golfers tied for second, including teenager Ai Miyazato, Akiko Fukushima, Australian Karrie Webb and Pak Se Ri of South Korea.

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