Ozaki stumbles to 1-over 72


A day after setting the Tsuruya Open on its ear with an opening round of 9-under-par 62, 66-year-old Jumbo Ozaki came back to earth on Friday with a 1-over-par 72.

The second day’s play at the Yamanohara Golf Club’s Yamanohara course in was suspended due to lightning for nearly three hours, leaving 55 golfers unable to complete their second rounds.

“I was thinking too much about how things might go today,” said Ozaki, winner of a record 94 titles on the Japan tour.

He carded a four-birdie, five-bogey round that had him in the clubhouse at 8-under-par 134 and a one-stroke provisional lead. He has not made the cut at a tour event since October 2011.

“I am capable of that (making the cut) if I just come out and play a decent game,” he said. “But I end up doing something and put the brakes on that. Now it seems like the norm for me. If only I could get used to this current way…”

Even though he teed off before 8 a.m., he was followed by a large gallery of fans.

“As you change from one day to the next, your golf game changes as well,” he said. “It would be outstanding to just keep playing the same, but it doesn’t work like that.”

At his second post-round press conference of the tournament, Ozaki was asked how it felt to be back in the limelight.

“I didn’t want to come,” he joked after his sharp putting from the day before was nowhere to be seen on his final two holes.