Takumi Kanaya leads in windy Oman; Brooks Koepka misses cut

No player passed the 70 mark in the second round of the Asian Tour International Series in Oman on Friday as strong winds interfered with the scoring.

Takumi Kanaya did it better than the others.

The 24-year-old Japanese takes first place on the Al Mouj Golf Club leaderboard after being upgraded to rank 4 by a 1-71 rating in the second round ahead of second-place Ryo Hisatsune (70).

“Today was a tough day, the wind was very strong,” said Kanaya, who used four birdies on seven holes starting at No. 7 to make up for two ghosts on his last four holes. “But yes, I feel great, I scored 71 which is a good result. I like ball control, it’s my favorite game, so yes, I have a chance.”

Kanaya, once a top 50 player in the world, has since dropped to 169th on the official world golf rankings and has not won since 2021 on the Japan Tour.

Joaquin Niemann was one of four players to throw 70, and the Chilean is tied for third with 2 fewer than Zach Murray, Berry Henson and Yonggu Shin, the first-round leader who hit 76 on Friday.

Sergio Garcia and Andy Ogletri are 1 under in the group and Eugenio Chacarra is another tied player.

On the other hand, a few big names didn’t make the list: Brooks Kepka (74-78), Peter Eichlein (72-80), Charl Schwarzel (75-78) and Hudson Swafford (81-WD). Koepka has missed three of the last six cuts in non-LIV tournaments that do not have a cut. He also hasn’t finished in the top 50 in non-LIV, non-match tournaments since his T-12 at last year’s Valspar Championship.

Three amateurs from Oman shot under 30 overs on 36 holes.


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