• Kyodo


Tetsuji Hiratsuka shot a bogey-free 7-under-par 64 in gusty conditions Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Kaname Yokoo after the third round of the Asia-Japan Okinawa Open.

The 34-year-old Hiratsuka, who has won two tour events, made his seventh birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to take sole possession of the lead at 10-under 203, while overnight coleader Yokoo fired a 69 at Naha Golf Club.

“My putting was great. I started using a two-ball putter like the one being used by Ai-chan (Miyazato) Friday morning.

It has helped my game. But I don’t know if my shots are good or not because of such strong winds,” said Hiratsuka, who had the day’s low.

Japan LPGA star Miyazato became the first Japanese woman to play in a men’s top-tier tour event in her native Okinawa, but missed the cut by 14 strokes Friday.

Defending champion Kiyoshi Miyazato, the eldest of three Miyazato siblings in professional golf, shot a 70 and dropped from a share of first place to a tie for third at 8-under 205 with Toru Taniguchi, who had a 67.

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