Ayada, two others tied Nichi-Iko Women’s Open lead


Tour rookie Hiroko Ayada shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to sit in a three-way tie for the lead after the first round of the inaugural Nichi-Iko Women’s Open on Friday.

Ayada, a 22-year-old Hosei University student, made five birdies at Yatsuo Country Club to share the lead with South Koreans Hwang Ah Reum and Shin Hyun Ju.

Ayada’s previous best finish was a tie for second at the Yamaha Ladies Open in April.

Mihoko Iseri and Chieko Amanuma each carded flawless 68s to share second with three other players.

South Korea’s Lee Ji Hee opened with a 69 to sit alone in ninth.

Sonoda in hunt

TSU , Mie Pref. (Kyodo) Tour rookie Shunsuke Sonoda shared the clubhouse lead with Kunihiro Kamii at the Toshin Golf Tournament on Friday.

Sonoda, bidding to win for the second straight week, had rounds of 68 and 64 for a 12-under 132 total after the suspension of Friday’s play caused him to play 36 holes in one day.

Play was suspended for the second day in a row at Toshin Lake Wood Golf Club because of inclement weather.

Kamii followed his opening 67 with a 65.

Among other players who have completed the second round, Yuta Ikeda was at 10 under after a 66.

Ryo Ishikawa is missing the inaugural event as he prepares for the Scottish Open next week and the British Open the following week.

Last week, Sonoda won the Mizuno Open Yomiuri Classic in his only fifth start as a pro.