Golf: Fujita Edges Closer To Money Title, Nippon Series 3 - Peat


Golf: Fujita edges closer to money title, Nippon Series 3-peatHiroyuki Fujita took a giant stride toward the JGTO Tour money title and an unprecedented third consecutive Nippon Series JT Cup title on Friday, firing a scintillating second round of 66 that put him five strokes clear at the top of the leaderboard.

Fujita smoked Yomiuri Country Club's par-70 course with a 61 on Thursday and the 43-year-old overnight leader showed no signs of letting up as he eagled the fifth hole en route to another flawless round in Tokyo.

"I have no complaints about the position I am in but I am the type who feels more comfortable trying to catch up," said Fujita. "For me I wonder how I should approach my game after opening up such a lead."

Last year, Fujita made up two strokes over the final two holes to tie Toru Taniguchi on the 18th, before winning in a playoff. In 2010, Fujita entered the fourth day with a three-stroke lead and won by a stroke over Taniguchi, who closed with a 9-under-par final round.

Money leader Fujita, who had birdies at Nos. 5 and 16 on Friday, reached 13-under 127, while American Han Lee had back-to-back eagles from the sixth in a round of 62 and moved into second place at 8 under.

The money title now appears to be Fujita's to lose. He has come into the season-ending major with a lead of nearly 38 million yen lead over Taniguchi, the only one with a mathematical chance of overtaking him at the top of the rankings.

The winner of the Nippon Series will collect 40 million yen, giving Taniguchi only an outside chance of surpassing Fujita. Taniguchi fired a 66 and was tied for seventh at 5 under.

Ryo Ishikawa, who became the youngest player to register 10 victories on the JGTO Tour when he ended a two-year title drought at the Taiheiyo Masters earlier this month, had a 66.

The 21-year-old shared third in the elite 26-man field at 7 under with South Korean Kim Kyung Tae (66) and Toshinori Muto (69).