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Briton's Clarke & Westwood doing well in Japan

Britain's Darren Clarke shared the lead with four Japanese rivals after the first round of the 140-million-yen ($1.3-million) Taiheiyo Masters tournament in Gotemba, central Japan, on Thursday.

Clarke finished the first round at six-under-par 66 after chipping in for an eagle at the par-five third hole and he carded four more birdies at the 7,072-yard Taiheiyo Club Gotemba course.

The Briton shared the lead with Naomichi Ozaki, Hajime Meshiai, Hirofumi Miyase and Hideki Kase.

Although Clarke's Ryder Cup team mate Lee Westwood, the defending champion, got off to a bogey-free start, he ended the first round at one stroke off the pace.

Ozaki made a good start in his quest for a fourth victory of the season on the Japanese tour, with one bogey and seven birdies.

The winner of the tournament will pocket 28 million yen ($265,900).