Tournament article

Kansai Open Golf Championship 2022

Semikawa surprises as action heads into the weekend

Semikawa surprises as action heads into the weekend

Semikawa surprises as action heads into the weekend

Unheralded amateur golfer Taiga Semikawa stole the limelight on the second day of the Kansai Open Golf Championship when he grabbed the lead at the halfway stage of the ¥80,000,000 tournament.

Making his only 15th JGTO start, the 21-year-old shot a four-under-par 67 at the Yomiuri Country Club to reach the 36-hole mark on 11-under 131 and lead by one stroke.

Australia's Anthony Quayle remained the best-placed international finisher after adding a 71 to his opening 66 to be tied for 15th spot on 137, one ahead of South Korea's Younghan Song, while American Han Lee, Korean Sanghee Lee and Australian Andrew Evans sit joint 25th on 139.

The halfway cut was made at one-under 141, with four other foreign competitors also checking into the weekend action.

They include Australias Matthew Griffin, Americans Seungsu Han, Todd Baek, Angelo Que of the Philippines.

Semikawa, competing on sponsor's invite, upstaged a host of his illustrious rivals after firing six birdies to offset two bogeys to surge past a crowded leaderboard.

Though entering this week's tournament with only four cuts made from 10 starts, Semikawa did justify the opportunity given to him as he boasts some impressive reputations in the Japanese amateur golf scene.

He's the reigning Kansai Amateur champion and fourth-place finisher of the Japan Amateur Championship.

Rikuya Hoshino kept himself in the hunt for a successful title defence bid with a 67 to sit in a three-way tie for second with Naoyuki Kataoka and Kazuki Higa.

Kataoka carded a 68 while Higa signed for a 67.