Sugiura, who is about to turn professional, takes the lead in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, beating Matsuyama and Koepka.

Yuta Sugiura’s game appearance

The only amateur participant in the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament (total prize money of 200 million yen), a 'special tournament' of the Japan Professional Golf Tour (JGTO), attended by world-class players such as Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka (hereinafter referred to as the United States). It's causing a storm.

In the third round of the 50th Dunlop Phoenix Tournament held at the Phoenix Country Club (par 71, 7,042 yards) in Miyazaki, Japan on the 18th, Japan's Yuta Sugiura, born in 2001, took the sole lead with a midterm total of 12 under par and 201 strokes.

Sugiura, who started the competition in 2nd place on the first day, one stroke behind leader Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), reduced 3 strokes in the second round to rise to the sole lead, and remained at the top of the leaderboard that day as well.He is 4 strokes behind 2nd place Brad Kennedy (Australia, 8 under par, 205 strokes).

Sugiura will attempt to become the 7th amateur player to win the championship since the tour system was implemented in Japan in 1973.

The Dunlop Phoenix Tournament, which has been held since 1974, is one of the largest tournaments on the Japanese tour, with many world-class players participating every year.

Prominent players such as Seve Ballesteros (Spain, 1977/1981), Woods (2004/2005), Tom Watson (USA, 1980/1997), and Hideki Matsuyama (2014), a leading figure in Japanese golf, have won trophies. I posted this, but no amateur player has ever won.

In this year's tournament, Matsuyama, who has 8 wins on the PGA Tour and 8 wins on the JGTO, including the 2021 Masters, participated, as well as Koepka and Wyndham Clark (USA), who won major tournaments on the PGA Tour this year. Sugiura is leaving them all behind.

Sugiura, who earned the right to participate in this tournament by winning the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament Challenge of the Japan 2nd Tour in September, continued his stable performance by reducing the number of strokes by 2 even on this day when the cold weather and strong winds made it difficult for players to reduce the number of strokes.

Sugiura, a student at Nihon University, is a player who has distinguished himself by tying for third place at last year's Japan Open.

He participated as a representative of Japan in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games held until early last month and placed 4th in the team event and tied for 25th in the individual event.

He postponed turning professional in order to participate in last month's Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, which gives the winner the right to participate in the Masters. Although he was unable to achieve his dream as he missed the cut at the time, he is making a mark in large tournaments on his country's tour.

Sugiura is preparing for the third round of the JGTO qualifying tournament at the end of this month, and if he wins this tournament and declares his decision to turn pro, he will immediately receive a JGTO seed for next season. 19가이드03