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Takumi Kanaya leads in windy Oman; Brooks Koepka misses cut


No player broke 70 in Friday’s second round of the Asian Tour’s International Series Oman as stiff winds made scoring difficult.

Takumi Kanaya fared better than the rest.

The 24-year-old Japanese player sits atop the leaderboard at Al Mouj Golf Club after a second-round, 1-under 71 moved him to 4 under, a shot clear of second-place Ryo Hisatsune (70).

“Today was a tough day, the breeze was very strong,” said Kanaya, who used four birdies in a seven-hole stretch starting at No. 7 to help offset two bogeys in his final four holes. “But yeah, I’m feeling great, I shot 71 and that’s good score. I like ball control, it’s my favorite, so yeah, I have a chance.”

Kanaya, once a top-50 player in the world, has since dipped to No. 169 in the Official World Golf Ranking and hasn’t won since 2021 on the Japan Tour.

Joaquin Niemann was one of only four players to shoot 70, and the Chilean is tied for third at 2 under with Zach Murray, Berry Henson and Yonggu Shin, the first-round leader who fired a 76 on Friday.

Sergio Garcia and Andy Ogletree are part of a group at 1 under while Eugenio Chacarra is another shot back at even par.

On the flip side, several notable names missed the cut: Brooks Koepka (74-78), Peter Uihlein (72-80), Charl Schwartzel (75-78) and Hudson Swafford (81-WD). Koepka has now missed three of his past six cuts in non-LIV events, which don’t have a cut. He also hasn’t finished in the top 50 in a non-LIV, non-match-play event since his T-12 at last year’s Valspar Championship.

Three amateurs from Oman shot worse than 30 over in 36 holes.