Murata breaks 70

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Oskar Ambrosius comes up the right side of the Wailua ninth hole Thursday during the opening round of the John Burns Intercollegiate at Wailua Golf Course.

WAILUA — University of Hawai‘i golfer Kotaro Murata fired a 4-under 68 to rise to ninth place following the second day of the John Burns Intercollegiate golf tournament at the Wailua Golf Course.

Murata finished the opening day tied with fellow Hawai‘i golfer Kanata Irei before hitting the moderate winds and finishing with five birdies, including his two finishing holes to lead the host Hawai‘i team to an 11-stroke improvement over Thursday’s opening round, and brings the Warriors to a tie for 18th place with Grand Canyon. Murata, the Hawai‘i leading golfer in this tournament, sits in a tie for seventh with a two-day 142.

On the leaderboard, Ignacio Arcaya of New Mexico finished the Friday round with a 6-under 66 to take the individualist lead. Sam Choi, ranked 58, and also of New Mexico followed four strokes back at 70.

Following two days of play, Arcaya, Choi, A. Segundo Oliva Pinto of UNCW, and Tommy Kuhl of Illinois are tied for the lead at a two-day 140 for each golfer.

Peter Kuest, the defending individualist and from Burns’ three-time winning Brigham Young University, finished even and is in a tie for fifth place with Sam Bennett of Texas A&M. Both golfers sport 141 totals, a stroke off the pace.

Led by Bennett, No. 10Texas A&M takes over the leader board with a 569, two strokes better than No. 15 BYU at 571. UNC Wilmington, the first day team leader, slipped to fourth place, five strokes off the pace at 574.

The final 36 holes of the Burns Intercollegiate tees off with a shotgun start starting at 8 a.m. at the Wailua Golf Course.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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