Katayama tied with Hoshino at 7-under-64 for the lead
Japan’s duo of Shingo Katayama and Rikuya Hoshino took the early honor of taking the share of the lead at 7-under-64 in the opening round at the Panasonic Open Championship.
While Katayama finished with four back to back birdies from the 15th, Hoshino kept his momentum going with two ultimate eagles on the par-5 13th and par-5 18th. Hoshino and Katayama had two bogeys combined and shared the lead on Thursday.
Following them with a shot is another Japanese Ryosuke Kinoshita who shot an eagle 3 on the last hole to take a solo third place on the board at 6-under-65 and the fourth place is shared by seven players including the defending champion Kenichi Kuboya who is joined by Hyung-sung Kim, Kodai Ichihara, Brad Kennedy, Jinichiro Kozuma, Sanghee Lee, and Masahiro Kawamura at 5-under-66.
Shingo Katayama turned pro in 1995 and he topped the JGTO money list five times-2000, 2004, 2005 2006, and 2008 along with 31 wins on the Japan Golf Tour.
“I like to hear ‘Nice Play’ from the crowd. The conditions were ideal today as there was not much wind and I was pretty consistent with my shots and putting. I bought a massager from Panasonic with the prize money I won last week and I really like it. The massaging functions were really good and it helped me relax. After playing in the final group last week, I was thinking why was I not in the position to win the tournament. I realized it was not my golf skills, but my mental strength. So I learned from it and decided to keep my focus. I’ve played here a few times and I remember leading a tournament here before. I carded an eight-under in my first round. But that time I was much younger, so I went out drinking in the city after that I played really poorly. I’m pretty much settled now so I will not be going to make the same mistake.”
Indians at the event
Chikkarangappa from India took a T-16th place on the board with 3-under-68 for the day with five birdies and two bogeys in his round. He is joined by Hiroyuki Fujita, Jazz Janewattananond, Prom Meesawat, Kichi Kitamura, Yujiro Ohori, Prayad Marksaeng, and Kyungnam Kang.
Rahil Gangjee stood T-24th at 2-under-69 with Ajeetesh Sandhu and SSP Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur stood T-37th, Khalin Joshi T-57th, Arjun Atwal T-75th, Gaganjeet Bhullar T-90th, Rashid Khan T-110th, Jyoti Randhawa T-125th, and Chiragh Kumar stood T-137th.