Portugal Colonial - Japan's Ryo takes lead in International Series Thai second round

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Japan's Ryo takes lead in International Series Thai second round
Japan's Ryo takes lead in International Series Thai second round

Japan's Ryo takes lead in International Series Thai second round

Japanese teenager Ryo Hisatsune took an unexpected halfway lead after a nail-biting second round at the inaugural International Series Thailand on Friday.

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The teen -- who only turned professional in 2020 -- hit a six-under-par 66 for a tournament best 14 under at the Black Mountain course at the seaside resort of Hua Hin.

The event is the first in the controversial Saudi-backed International Series on the Asian Tour, and carries a juicy $1.5 million purse.

"My course management today was very good. I am very happy," said Hisatsune, who managed seven birdies and a single bogey.

"It was so hot today, I am not used to this," added the teen.

Hisatsune is closely tailed by Korean players Sungyeol Kwon and Doyeob Mun, both with 66, although Mun expressed frustration with his play on Friday.

"I am disappointed not to birdie the last," he said. "Two more rounds to go though, so still a long way to go."

Further down the leaderboard was reigning Asian Tour number one Joohyung Kim (68), who remained optimistic despite slipping from his earlier lead.

"It is still an under-par round, and it's going to give me a chance," he said.

Korea's Taehee Lee shot 64, with South African Jaco Ahlers on 63, Thailand's Chanat Sakulpolphaisan on 66 and American Todd Baek carding 66.

And finally, Thailand's amateur sensation Ratchanon 'TK' Chantananuwat continued his run of making the cut in every Asian Tour event in which he has played.

While celebrating his 15th birthday, he shot a 68 to enter the weekend six under.

J.Pereira--PC