Quartet in command of the ISPS Handa 2024

The second round of the ISPS Handa Championship 2024 is yet to conclude fully, carrying over the delay from the first day

by Andrea Gussoni
Quartet in command of the ISPS Handa 2024
© Octavio Passos / Getty Images Sport

The second round of the ISPS Handa Championship 2024 is yet to conclude fully, carrying over the delay from the first day. Darkness halted play with only a few holes left for the last groups to complete, but despite this interruption, the verdicts from the halfway point have been cast, setting the stage for a thrilling weekend.

After a brief hiatus, the DP World Tour returns with a series of tournaments in Asia, and in the first of these events in Japan, a quartet leads the tournament after thirty-six holes.

Handa, results

The crowded leaderboard at -10 includes German Yannik Paul, Englishman Sam Bairstow, Swede Sebastian Soderberg, and Japan's Taihei Sato.

While the trio from Europe has been a consistent presence in the upper echelons of the leaderboard over the past year and a half, Sato's emergence from his home turf adds a fresh dimension to the mix. Among the four, Sato displayed exceptional performance today, carding an impressive -8 (9 birdies and 1 bogey), propelling him up thirty-six spots.

Consistency and quality define the Europeans, with Paul replicating his impressive 65 from yesterday to maintain his grip at the top, while Bairstow and Soderberg both post a solid 64 (-6), repeating their scores from the previous day.

All four leaders have submitted their scores at the end of the day, holding a two-shot lead over their closest pursuers. Englishman Matthew Southgate and Frenchman Tom Vaillant have completed their first two rounds and share fifth place at -8, alongside Japanese player Taiki Yoshida, who still has three holes remaining in his second round.

Rounding out the top 10 are Ryosuke Kinoshita (Japan), Casey Jarvis (South Africa), Tom McKibbin (Northern Ireland), and Will Enefer (England), all tied at -7 on the Gotemba Course at Taiheiyo Club. Turning to the Italian contingent, out of the eight starters, only three survive the halfway cut (unless Lorenzo Scalise encounters disaster on his 36th hole to be completed upon resumption).

The highest-placed Italians are Francesco Laporta and Filippo Celli, both carding identical scores of 68 for the second consecutive day, sharing nineteenth place at -5 for the tournament. Their position sets them up well for the weekend, trailing by five strokes from the leaders.

Lorenzo Scalise sits in fiftieth place at -3, needing a par on the 18th of his second round to continue into the remaining 26 holes. It's been a tough day for Guido Migliozzi, whose promising start with a -3 in the opening round was overshadowed by a disappointing 73, condemning him to miss the weekend.

He finishes in 103rd place at par for the tournament, alongside Matteo Manassero and others. Despite a resilient effort with a 69 today, Matteo Manassero fails to mount a comeback after a shaky first round. Further adrift, and never truly in contention, are Andrea Pavan, in 119th place at +1, Edoardo Molinari, 128th at +2 despite his -3 in the second round, and Renato Paratore, 147th at +4.