• Kyodo

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New Zealand’s David Smail shrugged off lower back problems to fire himself into the first-round lead with a 7-under-par 64 at the Acom International on Thursday.

The 35-year-old Smail drained seven birdies on a bogey-free journey over Ishioka Golf Club to take a one-shot advantage over Mamoru Osanai, Yeh Wei-tze of Taiwan and Yoshikazu Haku. Smail, a three-time winner on the Japanese Tour, is undergoing treatment for a back injury he sustained during the British Open in July. “I should actually be taking time off to rest but for some reason I seem to be getting OK results, despite the pain,” said Smail.

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