/

Daisuke Kataoka still hopeful despite dropping to 12th at Sony Open

Kyodo

Daisuke Kataoka fell down the leaderboard into a five-way tie for 12th place Friday after shooting a 2-under-par 68 in the second round of the Sony Open.

Kataoka, who was two shots from the lead after the opening round, carded four birdies and two bogies at the Waialae Country Club in Hawaii for a 7-under total. He trails current leader Brian Harman of the United States by six strokes.

“I got into a lot of tight spots in the early stages, but I got out of them well,” Kataoka said. “If I play aggressively and get a good score, I think I can be in contention to win.”

The 29-year-old endured an uneven front nine, bogeying on Nos. 3 and 6 and scoring three birdies, including one on a 20-foot iron shot outside the green on No. 8.

He picked up the pace in the back nine, sinking 8-foot puts on Nos. 10 and 14, and posting a final birdie on No. 17 with a 7-foot putt after a drive to the green.

“The flow improved with that,” said Kataoka, who appeared satisfied. “I’m playing really well.”

Harman shot the best round of the day, topping the ranks with a 7-under 63. First-day leaders Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk, along with three other Americans, are tied for second place three strokes behind.

Among other Japanese players at the tourney, Shugo Imahira is tied for 63rd after a 1-over 71, while Yusaku Miyazato, Tatsuya Kodai, and Satoshi Kodaira were all knocked out of contention.