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Excitement Soars as Four Golf Stars Lead ISPS HANDA Championship

Taihei Sato

DP World Tour luminaries Sam Bairstow, Yannik Paul, and Sebastian Söderberg, along with Japan’s Taihei Sato, dazzled fans at the ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP, culminating in a four-way tie atop the leaderboard after day two.

Bairstow, with an impressive 64, set the pace early, punctuating his rounds with dual eagles on the 18th.

Söderberg and Paul swiftly matched his performance, carding 64 and 65 respectively.

Sato’s stellar eight-under-par effort added to the suspense, forging a thrilling deadlock at the tournament’s halfway mark.

Taihei Sato: I’ve been hitting it well for the past two days so I’m feeling good. I missed the cut last year so my goal was just to make the cut. I didn’t really think about it too much, but I tried to do my best.

I can’t say if it suits my game, but I play on the JGTO so I am used to this course. If I make good shots I can post a good score. 

The DP World Tour is a very special tour for me. As this tournament is being conducted in Japan I want to do my best and get a good result. 

Co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organization, the event drew enthusiastic crowds to the Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course, where Sato’s standout performance ignited local fervor.

The leaderboard remains tightly contested, with England’s Matthew Southgate, France’s Tom Vaillant, and Japan’s Taiki Yoshida in hot pursuit at eight under par. As the tournament heads into its penultimate day, anticipation builds for the exciting conclusion.

Play is set to resume Saturday morning, with several groups still to complete their second rounds.