GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES KUWANA, MIE PREF. – Tatsunori Nukaga followed his first-round 64 with a 2-under 69 on Friday to hold a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the season-opening Token Homemate Cup.Ryo Ishikawa recovered from three dropped shots in his first three holes to shoot his second straight 69, leaving him five strokes off the pace in a tie for 16th at Token Tado Country Club. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 Nukaga got to 9 under for the tournament in the hunt for his first career JGTO Tour title.The long-hitting 28-year-old eagled the par-5 fourth hole by hitting a 4-iron second shot to about 10 feet. His round also included three birdies and three bogeys.“Things were completely different from yesterday, including the quality of my play,” Nukaga said. “It was chilly out there in the morning. I had a hard time controlling the distance of my shots, but I played patiently and somehow eked out a good round.“I never expected to be the tournament leader after two rounds. This is my first experience taking the lead into the weekend, so I have no idea at this point how I’m going to play the remaining two rounds.”Richard Lee (67) of New Zealand, Satoshi Tomiyama (67) and Yui Ueda (69) were tied for second at 7 under.Four players sat three shots behind Nukaga, including 2010 money leader Kim Kyung Tae of South Korea.Ishikawa, starting his round in the afternoon on the back nine, was in danger of missing the cut after missing a par putt from inside three feet on the 10th hole and hitting his tee shot out of bounds right for double bogey two holes later.But the 20-year-old bounced back with four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn and two more at Nos. 7 and 9.“I couldn’t get my rhythm early, but I stayed patient and gradually began to play better,” Ishikawa said. “After driving out of bounds on the 12th, I tried not to make the same mistake again the rest of the way. I made birdies at the 18th and first holes — two tough holes.”Ishikawa returned to Japan last Sunday after playing in eight U.S. PGA events in three months through the Masters Tournament, where he missed the cut for the third time in four Augusta National appearances.He is looking for his 10th career victory on the Japanese tour after a winless 2011.“I’m happy with the way I finished the round today, and from the third round I want to think only about going up on the leaderboard,” Ishikawa said.Tadahiro Takayama, the 2011 Token winner who finished second on last year’s money list, missed the cut by three strokes after a 75 dropped him to 4 over.