LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Kaname Yokoo continued an outstanding year for Japanese players on the PGA Tour Friday, putting together a 7-under 65 that put him one shot in front of Jerry Smith after two rounds of the National Car Rental Classic.
A crowd of big-name stars, including Tiger Woods, was close behind, but Yokoo put himself in position to become the second player from his country to win on the tour this year.
Yokoo, who has won more than $400,000 this year and has clinched his spot on the 2002 tour, finished 36 holes at 13-under 131 with Smith reaching 132 thanks to a second straight 66.
Stewart Cink, who narrowly missed capturing the U.S. Open this year, was among those at 135 and Woods was at 136 following a 67. Woods has returned to the tour after a five-week absence.
Earlier this year, Shigeki Maruyama won the Greater Milwaukee Open to become the second Japanese winner ever on the American tour. In addition, Shingo Katayama challenged for the title at the PGA Championship and Toshi Izawa finished fourth at the Masters.
Smith went into this tournament standing at No. 120 on the money list. Only the top 125 at the end of the season earn a card for next year's circuit.