Kennedy defies injury to lead Japan season finale - PGA of Australia

Kennedy defies injury to lead Japan season finale

A knee that requires acupuncture treatment couldn’t hold Queenslander Brad Kennedy back from taking a share of the halfway lead at the season-ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup in Japan.

The Japan Golf Tour’s final event of the year is limited to the top 30 players on the Order of Merit with Kennedy and fellow Sanctuary Cove member Anthony Quayle the only Aussies to qualify.

Runner-up in this event in 2019, Kennedy posted a second straight round of four-under 66 to join Satoshi Kodaira (66-66) at eight-under through 36 holes.

The pair are one stroke clear of defending champion Hideto Tanihara (67) and Aguri Iwasaki (68) who are tied for third while Quayle finds himself in a tie for 26th after rounds of 71-72.

Kennedy had an eagle at the par-5 sixth and three birdies in his round of four-under, his only dropped shot coming at the par-3 eighth.

He had 27 putts and hit 13 of 14 fairways to take some pressure off a knee injury that is garnering much of his attention.

“It was a good solid day,” said the 48-year-old.

“I was more focused on taking care of my knee than I was on actually playing golf.

“Getting around the course at the moment is pretty tough, pretty slow walking up and down the fairways pretty slowly.

“I got some acupuncture treatment; I don’t think there’s any major damage.

“Nevertheless. I’m really happy to be where I am.

“I really enjoy playing this golf course. It gives you a lot of opportunities but you also have to be very careful at the same time.

“Course management is very important here.”

As Kennedy and Quayle seek to end their seasons on a high in Japan, three Aussies are playing for status on the LPGA Tour in 2023.

Su Oh, Karis Davidson and Robyn Choi are two rounds into the eight-round LPGA Q-Series in Alabama, the top 70 and ties at the end of week one to advance to week two where the top 45 finishers earn Category status on the LPGA Tour.

Victorian Su Oh is currently in a tie for 10th late in the second round, Davidson and Choi both in a share of 36th at two-under par.

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