Rahil Gangjee – Asian Tour

Defending champion Rahil Ganjee has the lead at the Japan Golf Tour’s Panasonic Open at the Higashi Hirono Golf Club near Osaka, the 40 year old Indian golfer one ahead of a group of four players including Japan sensation, Ryo Ishikawa.

Gangjee won this event by one shot last year when the event was played much earlier in the season and although he has had Japan Tour status since he has generally struggled although he has recorded good finishes in his last two events.

“It’s always difficult to defend because everyone is looking at you,” said Gangjee referring to the pressure he3 is under to repeat his 2018 success.

“I need to stay away from that. I try to stay away from that and don’t think about it. I just want to go and play golf. The whole of last year has been a big learning curve for me in Japan because all the courses I played were new to me.

“It’s also a different mindset because I am just trying to know about the courses and remembering the shots I hit out there. It has got nothing to do with score. Even though I don’t know the golf course well this week, that same mindset comes in and that matters to scoring and going deep.”

Ishikawa has again put himself fairly and squarely in the eyesight of Presidents Cup captain Ernie Els as a win this week could well make it near impossible for Els to ignore the two time Presidents Cup player’s chances of inclusion in the International side given his great from in Japan this season.

Brendan Jones leads the Australians at 5 under and just four from the lead in a share of 14th place, the Canberra golfer recovering from a slow start to his second round to birdie three of his last five holes for a round of 70.

Andrew Dodt is another two shots behind Jones in  27th place and Brad Kennedy 35th.