YOSHIKI, Japan (AP) _ Little-known Kazuhiro Fukunaga shot his best round ever Thursday, a 7-under-par 64, and took a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Pepsi Ube.
``It was the best round so far in my career,″ said the 27-year-old Fukunaga, who previous best was 5 under. ``It’s too early to predict a victory, and I know it’s hard to win by overcoming a tough field.″
Katsunori Kuwabara and Yoshinori Ichioka were one stroke back at 65.
Australian Roger Mackay, Samson Gimson of Singapore, Tsuyoshi Yoneyama, Ikuo Shirahama and Akiyoshi Omachio were tied for fourth at 66.
American Brian Watts was in a group of 17 at 68.
Dragons Blank Tigers 6-0 on Taiho’s Two Homers
TOKYO (AP) _ Shane Mack hit his sixth homer of the season as the Yomiuri Giants beat the BayStars 5-4 in 10 innings at Yokohama. The Baystars suffered their fourth consecutive defeat.
At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Hensley Meulens it a three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Yakult Swallows a 4-3 victory over the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
Meulens, formerly with the New York Yankees, has five homers.
Bernardo Brito hit his ninth homer in a losing cause as his Nippon Ham Fighters were beaten by the Seibu Lions 3-2 in 10 innings at the Tokyo Dome.
The winning hit came off Kip Gross (4-3), who last pitched in the majors for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
U.S. Pacing Championship Offers $15,000 Bonus
COLTS NECK, N.J. (AP) _ A $15,000 bonus will be awarded by Freehold Raceway in Freehold, N.J., if a horse breaks the half-mile record during the the U.S. Pacing Championship on Saturday.
The owner, trainer and driver would each get $5,000 if their horse breaks the world mark of 1:50 4-5 set by Silver Almahurst in 1993.
Headlining the field of seven invitational horses is one of three millionaire pacers in the Championship, Riyadh, the odds-on favorite.
Village Connection and Historic, the two other millionaires in the field, usually race in Canada.