ANA Open Golf Tournament 2023

Song tunes up nicely for the weekend

Song tunes up nicely for the weekend

South Korean Song Young-han positioned himself for a potential second victory of the season when he posted a second consecutive four-under-par 68 to sit two shots back of clubhouse leader, Shugo Imahira, at the weather-delayed ANA Open Golf Tournament in Hokkaido.

The 32-year-old, who claimed his first JGTO title in seven years at the Sansan KBC Augusta just three weeks prior, notched five birdies against a single bogey at the Sapporo Golf Club.

This brought him to a halfway score of eight-under-par 136 on Friday.

He now provisionally shares second place with Taiga Semikawa and Ryo Ishikawa, the 2015 winner and last year's runner-up.

Two-time prize money champion Imahira delivered a sterling performance, registering a bogey-free 65 with seven birdies.

This tally included back-to-back birdies on the eighth and ninth holes, which were his concluding holes for the day.

As anticipated, the tournament experienced interruptions for the second consecutive day due to considerable time lost from poor weather conditions during Thursday's opening round.

The second round only got underway at 11:50 a.m. local time.

Ryuko Tokimatsu, the first-round leader, and top international contender Shaun Norris of South Africa were among the 58 competitors unable to complete their round today.

Tokimatsu, who began his game at 4:40 p.m., managed only four holes before play was suspended at 5:41 p.m. due to darkness.

He maintained his score, parred on all four holes, and provisionally sits tied in fifth place at seven-under-par.

Norris, commencing the second round in a tied-second position, has work cut out for him when play resumes. He conceded three shots over five holes, including a double bogey on the 10th, his first hole, and another dropped shot on the 13th. Currently, he's two-under-par overall.

Despite playing 34 holes today, Young-han expressed feelings of accomplishment amidst fatigue.

"The weather was good, it was nice. I played 34 holes today. It was a long day. It's been a while since I've played more than 30 holes, my legs are tired," he said.

"But I've made good progress, so I just have to give it my all from tomorrow. I'll do my best in everything I can and will keep pushing until the end."

Leading second round scores:

134: Shugo Imahira 69-65;

136: Song Young-han (Kor) 68-68, Taiga Semikawa 68-68, Ryo Ishikawa 68-68;

137: Takasji Ogiso 70-67, Takumi Kanaya 69-68, Hideto Tanihara 68-69, Tatsunori Shogenji 67-70, Koshiro Maeda 72-65;

138: Todd Baek (US) 71-67, Tomoharu Otsuki 69-69, Nobuaki Oda 68-70.