SYDNEY (AP)World No. 1-ranked amateur Takumi Kanaya birdied his final two holes Thursday for a 6-under 65 and a tie for the first-round lead with fellow Asian amateur Chun An-you of Taiwan.
Playing the back nine at The Australian Golf Course to open his round, the Japanese player had five birdies. He bogeyed the par-4 third hole before making birdie on the eighth and ninth holes.
The leaders had a two-stroke lead over 2015 champion Matt Jones and fellow Australians Dimi Papadatos and Daniel Nisbet.
A winner last month in his homeland, 21-year-old Kanaya’s round came four years after he signed for an 85 at The Australian while on his Open debut at the same venue.
”I have a little confidence, but I have three more days, so I will do my best tomorrow,” Kanaya said.
Jones complained of burning eyes from the smoke blowing in from surrounding bushfires in New South Wales state.
`’It’s awful,”’ Jones said. ”The smoke’s not good at all. It’s tough to see your golf ball when you’re out there playing, where it finishes. Your eyes do burn up. I hope my kids are inside in the hotel room.”
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