Japan’s Dunlop Phoenix reaches halfway stage

Brad Kennedy- four from the lead – file

Two of the Japan Tour’s most dominant players share the halfway lead at the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Miyazaki in southern Japan, Yuta Ikeda and Shugo Imahira at 5 under and ahead by one over Jung Gon Hwang and the impressive American rookie Collin Morikawa.

Ikeda has won 21 events on the Japan Tour in the last ten years, the last of those coming earlier this year when winning the Gate to the Open Mizuno Open while Imahira led the money list in 2018 and is again leading in 2019.

At 2 under par and just three from the lead is yet another exciting American in Cameron Champ who we will see in Australia later in the year when he competes at the Australian PGA Championship.

The talk of the day however was the great recovery from an opening hole quintuple bogey by former champion Hideki Matsuyama. Matsuyama began the event with an opening 66 on Thursday but he would open with a five over par 9 on day two. He recovered from the shock to record a round of 75 to be at 1 under and just four shots from the lead.

Brad Kennedy leads the Australians in a share of 13th place at 1 under and, like Matsuyama, four from the lead, Anthony Quayle is 1 over, with Brendan Jones the next best at 4 over.

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