MIYAZAKI, Japan (AP) — Australian Paul Sheehan shot a 4-under 67 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Dunlop Phoenix.
Sheehan birdied Nos. 7 and 8 at the par-71 Phoenix Country Club and added two more birdies on the back nine to take a one-stroke lead over a group of seven golfers, including American Brandt Snedeker and Japan’s Toru Suzuki.
South Africa’s Ernie Els shot a 72 to finish in a tie for 34th place. Defending champion Ian Poulter of Britain shot a 73.
The $2.1 million event is one of the richer tournament’s on the Japanese men’s tour. Recent winners include Tiger Woods (2004, 2005) and Padraig Harrington (2006).