Scott Strange has posted an impressive top-10 finish at the Japan Open on a brutally difficult course set up which saw just four players finish the week under par.
While headline act Adam Scott missed the cut at 10-over through 36 holes, Strange battled gamely and overcame an opening round of 3-over73 with a Friday 68 to head to the weekend T8.
Rounds of 73-70 dropped Strange to T10 at 4-over for the week, one shot ahead of Brad Kennedy and Won Joon Lee who played strongly to be T12.
Local hero Hideki Matsuyama's 5-under total for the week was good for a three shot victory in a tournament that saw the cut made at 8-overpar.
Five Australians survived to make the weekend, Strange, Kennedy and Lee the standout performers with Adam Bland and Brendan Jones next best at 13-over and T40.
A second round 78 proved the major hurdle for Jones whose bookend rounds of even par 70 were impressive in the conditions.
Bland played a more steady brand of golf with scores of 72-73-73 but a final round 75 dropped him nine places down the standings.
For tournament drawcard Scott the week got off to a bad start with two bogeys in his first three holes and went down hill from there.
He didn't make a single birdie in the opening round on his way to a tournament wrecking 76 and needed something special on day two to get into contention.
A birdie at his first hole of the day Friday, the 10th, and a hole out for eagle at the 13th looked to have him back in the mix but he gave back all three shots before the turn with a bogey and a double.
Four dropped shots on his way to the clubhouse meant he joined Michael Hendry, former champion Paul Sheehan and amateur Harrison Endycott in missing the cut.
The result was a particularly disappointing one for Hendry who leads the Australasians on the Japan Tour money list and came into the week off a runner-up finish to Brandt Snedeker at the Fiji International.
However, the Sayama Golf Club posed a vastly different challenge to that found at Natadola Bay and Hendry struggled to gain any momentum after making a bogey at his very fist hole of the week.
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