Kennedy second behind Kataoka at Kansai Open

Queenslander Brad Kennedy continued his love affair with the Kansai Open Championship with another strong finish in the Japan Golf Tour event on Sunday.

Kennedy finished outright second at 14-under par, three strokes adrift of 26-year-old Daisuke Kataoka, who shot a final round four-under 66 to finish at an impressive 17-under for the tournament.

Brad Kennedy Brad Kennedy (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Kennedy’s runner-up finish is one place better than his tie for 3rd last year, having won the tournament in 2013.

Kennedy started the final round two strokes behind the leaders but holed his second for an eagle on the par-four opening hole to surge immediately into contention.

Birdies at the second, sixth and seventh holes saw Kennedy make the turn in 5-under 31, however Kataoka also staked his claim with a four-under 32 on the front side.

A bogey and double-bogey on the back nine halted Kennedy’s momentum while Kataoka was resolute throughout, parring every hole on the back nine to secure the first win of his career.

Sydney’s Won Joon Lee finished off a very good week by finishing in a tie for 3rd at 13-under, while last week’s champion Adam Bland recovered from an opening 74 to record rounds of 67-69-66 to finish tied 18th at 8-under.

Scott Strange (T24th), Brendan Jones (T41st), Matthew Griffin (T46th) and Peter Wilson (T51st) rounded out the Australian results.

Positions in the 2015 Open Championship field at St Andrews are on offer for a handful of players at this week’s ‘Gate Way To The Open’ Mizuno Open. Jones was the last Australian to earn a berth to The Open Championship via this event with his victory in 2013.