Sunday, October 11

Greg Norman’s Great Pick

Ryo Ishikawa at the PGA Championship.

THE AMERICANS WON the Presidents Cup on Sunday for the seventh time in eight tries. The final points total was 19 ½ to 14 ½. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker—the world’s top three golfers—led the way.

While International team captain Greg Norman was questioned extensively about his captain’s choice of fellow Aussie Adam Scott, his other captain’s pick made an impressive debut in the Presidents Cup. Ryo Ishikawa, the 18-year-old, was one of only two International team players to post a winning point total. (The other was Ernie Els.) The Japan Tour player went 3-2-0, including a singles victory over Kenny Perry.

I hadn’t seen much of Ishikawa before this week. Obviously, he’s a terrific putter. Coming into the Presidents Cup, Ryo won three times this summer on the Japan Tour in a 10-week stretch. And he’s the youngest player to crack the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, currently ranked 47th.

“When Greg first picked me … I didn’t know if I was worthy to be a part of this team,” Ishikawa said. “But when I got here and all of the players looked after me, talked to me, gave me a lot of support, and that really helped me throughout this week.”

I look forward to seeing more of Ryo. It will be fun to see how he and Rory McIlroy fulfill their potential as golf’s future stars.

−The Armchair Golfer


kokogirl said...

I like Ryo and I love that he answered the post round interview in English, although he seemed a little hesitant. He made some great shots and I enjoyed watching him play against Kenny today.

Hack said...

I agree...Ishikawa as a pick was super smart. Which makes the Scott pick all the more puzzling by contrast.

I'm looking forward to a strong class of international youth over the next 20 years taking center stage.

Unknown said...

I think Ryo will be the real deal, because, like you pointed out, he can flat out putt.

If we have learned anything from Jack and Tiger, it is their putting that made them the dominant players in their eras. They both murdered the ball, as do hundreds of golfers, but putting when they needed it was/is the difference.

I think Ryo might have this..

Lancer said...

I agree with all the comments. For putting to mean anything, a player first has to drive the ball and put the ball on the green. Most good players can do this consistently. What separates the great from the good, however, is getting the ball in the hole and a player is just an also ran if he can't putt the ball into the hole. Ryo seems to have it all.

rakeback said...

Its amazing how well the kid plays at his age. I think that was a great pick by Norman and its good to see the guy start to perform better over the past 12-18 months.