Brad Kennedy got his 2018 Japan Tour campaign off to a brilliant start with an opening 66 at the Panasonic Open on his way to grabbing top Australasian honours for the week.

Brad KennedyKennedy was one of 11 Australasians to tee up in the Asian Tour co-sanctioned event at the Ibarakai Country Club’s West Course in Osaka, his 6-under 72-hole total good for a share of 23rd position.

Kennedy wasted little time getting back in the swing and after opening with eight straight pars on Thursday reeled off five birdies in seven holes to share fourth after 18 holes.

He backed up with scores of 72-70-70 to finish one ahead of Brendan Jones and Terry Pilkadaris who were T28 at 5-under.

Jones will have mixed feelings about his week, his opening 72 followed by back-to-back 67’s to be inside the top-10 heading to Sunday’s final round.

Four dropped shots in the first 11 holes was hardly what he wanted but he recovered somewhat with two birdies on the way to the clubhouse to salvage something from the day.

Pilkadaris was the only one of Australia’s Asian Tour representatives to make the cut and now sits just outside the top-10 on the Order of Merit.

New Zealand’s Michael Hendry was the last of the Australasians to play the weekend and finished in a share of 55th at 1-over for the week.

Matt Griffin missed the cut by two shots while Jake Higginbottom and Scott Hend were three and four outside the number respectively.

Wonjoon Lee struggled to rounds of 73-78 while Daniel Nisbet, Aaron Wilkin and Todd Sinnott were all double digits over par through 36 holes.