MIYAZAKI – Toshimi Kimura and Michie Oba took advantage of a disastrous second round by Japan’s No. 1 Yuri Fudo to move into a share of the lead after the second round of the season-ending Japan LPGA Tour Championship on Friday.
The veteran duo closed with a 36-hole total of 1-under-par 143 in blustery conditions at Miyazaki Country Club, while overnight leader and defending champion Fudo had a 4-over 76 and teen rival Ai Miyazato slumped to a 75 as both dropped one shot off the pace.
Okinawa-born Miyazato, the first teenager in Japanese pro golf to earn 100 million yen in a single season, needs a victory coupled with a seventh-place finish or worse by Fudo here to stand any chance of winning the money title on her first full season on the pro tour.
The four-day, 60 million yen event features a field made up of players who have won at least one title this season, supplemented by golfers in the top 20 of the money rankings.
KAIMON, Kagoshima Pref. (Kyodo) South African player Charl Schwartzel overcame a two-stroke deficit Friday to claim sole possession of the lead at 9-under-par 135 midway through the Casio World Open.
The 20-year-old Schwartzel carded six birdies in a round of 67 and missed the green only twice, bogeying the par-5 eighth at Ibusuki Golf Club.
American Hunter Mahan struggled with three straight bogeys from the fourth and closed on 70 to sit in a four-way tie for second on 136 with David Smail of New Zealand (66), Tadahiro Takayama (66) and Hisayuki Sasaki (68).
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