• Kyodo


Ai Miyazato made a major move toward winning her first major title of the Japan LPGA tour as she moved into a tie for the provisional lead with veteran Toshimi Kimura after two rounds of the Japan LPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup on Friday.

News photoSakura Yokomine hits the ball out of a bunker during the second round of the Japan LPGA Championship on Friday in Gamo, Shiga Pref.

Miyazato, who has won three tour events this year, and Kimura matched each other with five birdies and two bogeys for 69s en route to reaching the halfway point of the 72-hole tournament at 4-under-par 140 at Meishin Yokaichi Country Club.

Twenty-four players failed to complete their rounds due to thunder and lightning but the joint leaders have virtually been assured of top spots before the second round concludes Saturday morning.

Among the leaders left on the course when play was halted, only South Korean Ku Yun Hee and Toyomi Hirose had a realistic chance of challenging Miyazato and Kimura at 1-under with two holes left.

Imano four ahead

INZAI, Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Yasuharu Imano shot the low round for the second straight day with a 6-under-par 64 to open up a four-stroke lead at the midpoint of the Suntory Open on Friday.

Kiyoshi Miyazato stood alone in second at 7-under 133 after a 67. Shingo Katayama, the tour’s money title winner last year, also fired a 67 and moved into a tie for third.

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