Tournament article

Kansai Open Golf Championship 2022

Higa survives topsy-turvy day to lead

Higa survives topsy-turvy day to lead


Higa survives topsy-turvy day to lead


Kazuki Higa will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Kansai Open Golf Championship after surviving a rollercoaster third day at Yomiuri Country Club.


The 26-year-old Higa, who's bidding for a third JGTO victory, carded an eagle, six birdies and five bogeys for three-under-par 68 that left him atop the leaderboard on 13-under-par 200 total.


“The pin positions were really difficult today. I was aiming to reach the turn in even-par. Once I managed to do that, I then told myself that I will be get back to under-par in the back-nine. I’m pleased I was able to do that. It’s an important final day tomorrow and I’ll do my best to get a good result,” said Higa.


A group of foreign competitors led by Korean Sanghee Lee continued to push for a top 10 finish despite a testing day at the Yomiuri Country Club.


Lee, who missed the cut at the Token Homemate Cup, shot a 71 after trading four birdies against two bogeys and a double-bogey to finish in a tie for 11th place on 210, 10 shots off the pace.


The international quartet comprising Brad Kennedy (71) and Anthony Quayle (74) of Australia and Americans Han Lee (72) and Todd Baek (70) all sit a further shot back on 211.


Rikuya Hoshino held it steady to sign for a 70 to lie in sole second on 11-under, keeping his hopes afloat of becoming the first player to defend the title in 48 years since Teruo Sugihara last accomplished it.


Sugihara holds the honour of being the most successful player at the Kansai Open Golf Championship with nine victories, winning successive titles from 1973 to 1975.


Taiga Semikawa, the amateur who took a surprise halfway stage lead, slipped to third place after battling to 73. But at just four shots behind, he is not ruling out his chances just yet.