Tournament article


Thumbs up for Perry as Aussie cruises to opening 64

Thumbs up for Perry as Aussie cruises to opening 64

Following a frustrating run of six straight missed cut on JGTO, Australia's Dylan Perry looks set to finally make it to the weekend for the first time this season.

The 27-year-old got off to a flying start at the Heiwa PGM Championship on Thursday, carding a six-under-par 64 to sit just one shot behind leader Rikuya Hoshino.

Perry's brilliant effort was highlighted by an eagle on the par-five fifth hole where he converted a birdie putt from 40 feet.

He also chalked up another five birdies to offset a lone bogey to join Ryuichi Oiwa in second.

Compatriot Brad Kennedy, American Chan Kim and Sanghee Lee of South Korea are among a group of five players on five-under after rounds of 65 at PGM Ishioka Golf Club in Ibaraki.

American Todd Baek is just a shot further adrift after signing for a 67 to make it five international members in the top-10.

Of the quartet, Perry's presence at the top of the leaderboard was probably the unlikeliest given his poor record this season.

Perry has not made a single cut in all the six tournaments he started thus far, with the last being at the Shigeo Nagashima Invitational Sega Sammy Cup in August.

And fresh from a two-month hiatus, Perry can certainly smile again after rediscovering his form.

Perry will bid to get his season back on track at the Heiwa PGM Championship, the very same tournament he registered tied third for his career-best JGTO finish in 2019.

"I had some time at home to reassess my game and really work it out.  It's been nice to be back home for a while, but I was definitely keen to get back into action this week," said Perry, who's playing in his third full season in Japan.

"The eagle (on the fifth), I hit a good drive to about 236m from the hole, and then followed it up with 3-wood onto the green which landed about 40 feet and holed the putt.

"Same game plan for tomorrow, I'm going to go out there and continue to drive the ball well. I can take little confidence out of the way I hit the driver today.

"The two good things you need to do around here is to drive the ball well and hole the putt and I did that today. So, hopefully, I can do that for another three days."

Hoshino set the early pace after firing a bogey-free 63 to continue his relentless hunt for a maiden win of the season.

He came close during the first three tournaments of the year with a third place at the Token Homemate Cup before finishing runner-up twice at Kansai Open and ISPS Handa Championship.