The tournament is jointly sanctioned by both the Japan and Asian Tours but the current leader of the 2019 Japan Tour money list, Brendan Jones, sits just one behind the lead after day one, his round of 68 trailing only Thailand’s Danthai Boonma.
Jones, who three weeks ago won the opening domestic event on the 2019 season, the Token Homemate Cup, took a while for his round to build momentum in the windy conditions but a homeward nine of 32 has him poised to continue his fine start to the season.
“It’s still very early but I’m happy to have put myself into a good position with today’s score,” said Jones.
“It was very challenging especially with the wind and narrow fairways. You got to be really accurate. I’m glad I managed to do that today. It’s always nice when you are in a good position but you just cannot get too carried away as it’s only the first round and there’s still a lot of golf left to play.”
23-year old Boonma, who has won twice on secondary tours in Asia and in Japan in 2019, produced a round of 67 to take the lead, an eagle at the 8th hole the highlight of his impressive start.
Of the other Australians in the field aside from Jones, Victorian amateur, David Micheluzzi, who finished 5th at last November’s Australian Open, again impressed with a round of 71 to be tied for 13th, with Brad Kennedy, Won Joon Lee and Jake Higginbottom, the next best, another shot back in a share of 20th place.
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