The DP World Tour heads to Japan for the first time this week for the ISPS Handa and there is a strong field that will be battling it out for glory at PGM Ishioka Golf Club.
|Where||PGM Ishioka Golf Club|
|When||Thursday 20th April - Sunday 23rd April|
|How to watch||bet365 Sports Live Streaming & Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf|
|Odds||Rasmus Hojgaard 18/1, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 18/1, Lucas Herbert 20/1, Jordan Smith 25/1, Robert MacIntyre 25/1, Antoine Rozner 25/1|
Japan becomes the 51st country to host an event on the circuit and the host nation appears to have a strong chance of lifting the trophy, with the likes of 25/1 Rikuya Hoshino and 30/1 Takumi Kanaya in the field.
Three-time DP World Tour champion Rasmus Hojgaard is 18/1 to add a fourth title to his collection, though he hasn't tasted success since August 2021, while South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout is an 18/1 chance to also pick up his fourth DP World Tour win.
Yannik Paul broke his duck at the Mallorca Golf Open in October last year and he can be backed at 30/1 to come out on top again, while Joost Luiten is getting back to his best after a few frustrating injury-plagued years and he is 30/1 to add a seventh DP title to his cabinet.
Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five are available for the ISPS Handa, while the first-round leader section is one of a variety of other markets bet365 are offering on the tournament.
PGM Ishioka Golf Club will host this event for the second time having staged the contest in 2022 when it was solely on the Japan Golf Tour. Having claimed the spoils, Yuto Katsuragawa holds the tournament record at -24, an aggregate score of 260.
Ishioka Golf Club also hosted the 2022 Heiwa PGM Championship, an event Rikuya Hoshino won by an impressive five shots, while it was the home of the now-defunct Acom International from 1999-2006 and the Honma Tour World Cup in 2015 and 2016.
The Parkland course is a par 70 that measures 7,039 yards in length, boasting two par-fives, 12 par-fours and four par-threes.
With tight tree-lined fairways and substantial rough ready to gobble up any stray shots, there is a premium on driving accuracy and approach play.
With none of the European contingent playing at this venue before, it is difficult to know how quickly they will adapt to this challenging venue by Jack Nicklaus and it may prove more prudent to look at the home prospects to come out on top.
Priced up at 66/1, Yuto Katsuragawa looks like a great price to put up a staunch defence of the title he claimed last year when holding off Rikuya Hoshino by one shot.
The 24-year-old ranked first in greens in regulation on the Japan Golf Tour last year, while he was also seventh in driving accuracy and fourth in stroke average.
Playing on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023 has so far proven to be a struggle for the Japanese, who has missed his last four cuts, but a return to his homeland could be exactly what is required to get the juices flowing.
At bigger odds of 150/1, Australian Brad Kennedy could be worth a look given the fact he arrives here off the back of a solid tied-12th finish at the Kansai Open Golf Championship.
The 48-year-old's last two outings at Ishioka Golf Club have heralded results of 16th and 5th, so he clearly likes the set-up in Ibaraki, and his stats on the Japan Golf Tour make for good reading.
Kennedy is fourth in driving accuracy and T20 in greens in regulation - two areas that have proven to be crucial to success here - while he is also T10 in scoring average.
The third and final player to keep an eye out for is Yuta Uetake, who provides huge value in the each-way betting at 600/1 and is someone who played both events held at Ishioka Golf Club last year.
An impressive third-place finish came at the 2022 ISPS Handa, where he was only two strokes behind the winner, and it's notable that the 27-year-old was tied-second in driving accuracy on that occasion.
Uetake is a solid player off the tee and he is T9 in driving accuracy on the Japan Golf Tour this year, hitting 60 of a possible 84 fairways across his two outings in 2023.
While the Japanese is yet to sparkle this year - a T64 being his best result - his previous form at this venue and accuracy off the tee make him a lively outsider.