KASAMA, Ibaraki Pref. (Kyodo) Tour veteran Gregory Meyer shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Japan Golf Tour Championship, the first major of the year.

The 47-year-old from Hawaii, winless on the Japanese tour, reeled off seven birdies against a bogey at Shishido Hills Country Club in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Little-known Norihiko Furusho fired a bogey-free 66 to share second with Shinichi Akiba. Popular teenager Ryo Ishikawa opened with a 72 and Shingo Katayama, the winner in 2007, struggled to a 75. Toru Taniguchi withdrew after his round with a sore left shoulder.

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