• Kyodo


Katsunori Kuwabara and Taiwan’s Lin Keng-chi both made six birdies in bogey-free rounds of 66 for a share of the lead after the first round of the ABC Championship on Thursday.

Keiichiro Fukabori, currently second on the money list of the Japanese men’s tour, shot 67 and finished the day tied in second with Ryuichi Oda and Shigeru Nonaka at ABC Golf Club in Hyogo Prefecture.

“It was probably my first bogey-free round in a long time. I made some long putts and didn’t really face the risk of dropping a shot,” said Kuwabara, who holed birdie putts from more than 60 feet on the ninth and within 30 feet on the sixth and 14th.

Lin, a three-time winner on the Japanese tour, had three birdies in a five-hole stretch in the middle of his round to match Kuwabara, who is aiming for his third career title.

South Korea’s S.K. Ho, Dinesh Chand of Fiji and Tomohiro Kondo are among six players tied for sixth at 68. Money rankings leader Shingo Katayama was another two shots back in a group that also includes defending champion Makoto Inoue.

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