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  • ISPS Handa Championship Tips: Keita Nakajima Spearheads Homegrown Challenge In Japan

ISPS Handa Championship tips: Keita Nakajima spearheads homegrown challenge in Japan

After a few weeks off, the DP World Tour resumes at the Taiheiyo Club in Gotemba, Japan, from where golf pundit Martin Colwell shares his best bets to land the ISPS Handa Championship.

ISPS Handa Championship key stats:

  • When: April 25-28 2024
  • Where:Taiheiyo Club, Gotemba Course, Shizuoka, Japan
  • How long: 7,262 yards - par 71
  • What to expect: Hillside, tree-lined parkland course, greens protected by plenty of bunkers and water hazards, with tricky run-off areas
  • Who won last year: Lucas Herbert (-15)

 A co-sanctioned event with the Japan Tour, this is the first time that the DP World tour has visited this venue, which has Mount Fuji making a magnificent backdrop.

The early 12/1 favourite is Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who flies in from the USPGA Tour, where his best effort this year was runner-up at the American Express, and the South African should relish the challenging test this course provides.

Joining him from the States is 14/1 shot Matthieu Pavon, who lines up as the tournament’s highest-ranked player (22nd) after becoming the first Frenchman to win on the USPGA Tour since 1907 when he landed the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

Of the home nation golfers, Keita Nakajima appears to tick all the right boxes for a strong showing here, and he is bound to attract local support at an appealing 14/1 price. 

Fourth on season debut at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, his improving play was finally rewarded last time out when he landed the Indian Open convincingly with four strokes to spare ahead of a strong line-up.

The talented 23-year-old was also 12th here last year, when the tournament was solely part of the Japan Tour, so he clearly has the game to plot his way effectively around this course.

Suggested bet: Keita Nakajima (14/1) each-way in the ISPS Handa Championship


Two strong European players stand out in this field, headed by Yannik Paul, who kicked his season off with two top-8 finishes in the Middle East, and was last seen finishing 10th at the Indian Open, seven shots adrift of Nakajima. 

The German looks tempting at 22/1, but catching the eye even more is 25/1 shot Sebastian Soderberg, who has been in solid form with five top ten finishes from his last ten tournaments. 

The in-form Swede surged through the pack with a five-under-par final round to finish runner-up at the Indian Open last time out, and his accuracy off the tee should hold him in good stead around this track.

Suggested bet: Sebastian Soderberg (25/1) each-way in the ISPS Handa Championship


Others to watch:

  • Shaun Norris (66/1) - Played well in South Africa recently and has a great record in Asia
  • Ryo Ishikawa (60/1) - Off form lately, but won on this course in 2022 so could well choose this week to bounce back
  • Matthias Schwab (80/1) - Still a maiden on Tour, but metrics suggest his A-game is not far away and this type of course should suit his game
  • Yogi Sigiura (120/1) - World number one amateur before turning pro and having contended regularly since joining the Japan Tour he could making a nonsense of such a huge price.

Suggested bet: Matthias Schwab (80/1) each-way in the ISPS Handa Championship


Suggested bet summary:

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