Flawless Gangjee shoots 66, makes cut at Kansai Open in Japan

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Kobe (Japan), Apr 23 (PTI) India's Rahil Gangjee shot his best round in more than 30 months as he carded a flawless 5-under 66 to make the cut at the Kansai Open Championship, the second event on the Japan Golf Tour, here.

Gangjee, who got off to a disappointing start with a 2-over 73 in the opening round, is now tied-31.

The 42-year-old had spent two weeks in preventive quarantine before joining the Tour last week. He had missed the cut in the opening event.

Needing a strong second round after a disappointing start, Gangjee birdied five times without a bogey.

'I was still adjusting when I played last week. Today (in the second round) the driving was much longer and I was hitting well. Today some of the putts also fell, so a 5-under feels good,' Gangjee said.

“Coming back at the start of the month, I needed to settle down in all these new conditions, though I went through it last year also. Now things look better and I have my usual caddie, Rags, also on the bag. So, hopefully some good results,” he added.

Gangjee won the Panasonic Open, Japan in 2018 and his best round on Japan Tour also came at the same tournament a year later in 2019, when he had a bogey-free 9-under 63.

Gangjee birdied two of the three Par-5s on first and 10th and he also had birdies on fourth, eighth and 18th.

Japan’s young talent kept pace with the established stalwarts, as the 21-year-old Tomohiro Ishizaka (65-67) shared the lead with 53-year-old Toru Taniguchi (66-66), a veteran, who has won 20 times on the Japan Tour.

Taniguchi last won in 2018, while Ishizaka has never won and is playing only his 13th pro event.

Takumi Kanaya (69-70), last week’s winner, shot 2-under 70 and was T-31. PTI Cor APA APA APA