15 November 2018: It was another tough day at the office for Rahil Gangjee on the Japan Golf Tour. He endured five bogeys, taking 37 strokes on either side in a three over 74. At three over, Rahil is down the order in T76, with Koumei Oda holding the top spot. Oda shot five under 66 in the opening round of the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Miyazaki.
There were nine golfers with a 67 on their cards. Andrew Putnam, Yuki Inamori, Hiroshi Iwata, Emiliano Grillo, Yujiro Ohori, Yoshitaka Takeya, Kazuki Higa, Hyun-Woo Ryu and Y E Yang were all in that group.
A further stroke behind were Tomoyo Ikemura, Koichi Kitamura, Ryosuke Kinoshita, Kenichi Kuboya, Scott Vincent, Sang Hyun Park and Hiroyuki Fujita shot 68.
Brooks Koepka arrived in Japan seeking a third straight victory in the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament. He had to stay content with a two under 69, despite making five birdies.
Rahil has rough start – two bogeys in the first three holes meant that he needed to course correct very quickly. A birdie at the fourth hole offered hope for the Indian golfer, but another bogey at the sixth set him back again.
He made four straight pars around the turn, before stumbling again to a pair of bogeys at 12 & 13. Rahil made five straight pars from there to finish at three over for the day.
“I thought at first, Brooks’ distance was about the same as mine. But when he started to really give it a go, I was not even close to him.” confessed Shota Akiyoshi, who witnessed Koepka’s famed power from close quarters.
Hideki Matsuyama did not have an enjoyable day under the Sun. The most famous Japanese golfer fired one over 72, ending the day at T56.
Grillo and Sang-Hyun Park were the only two men to go bogey free on a day that saw the entire field mix up their cards with a smattering of missed strokes.
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