Ishikawa amid disaster in Japan lead at Doral

By Doug FergusonMarch 11, 2011, 8:58 pm

WGC-Cadillac ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. – Ryo Ishikawa of Japan woke up to learn of devastation at home and managed to keep his mind on golf Friday, finishing off a first round of 7-under 65 that left him one shot behind in the Cadillac Championship.

Ishikawa always checks the news each morning, and this was a stunner – one of the largest earthquakes to hit Japan spawned a tsunami that slammed the eastern coast and left hundreds dead or missing.

“I was able to communicate with my family,” Ishikawa said. “If not for that, it would have been extremely difficult.”

He said he lives about 250 miles away from Sendai, the city closest to the center of the epicenter of the 8.9 magnitude quake.

Hunter Mahan faced seven holes to complete the opening round and shot 64 to take the lead. Tiger Woods added a birdie in three holes for a 70, while Phil Mickelson hit two balls into the water on the par-5 eighth for a double bogey and a 73.

Martin Kaymer, in his second week at No. 1 in the world, opened with a 66.

Even so, most of the attention was on the 19-year-old sensation. Ishikawa already has won nine times on the Japan Golf Tour, the first one as a 15-year-old amateur. His star treatment in Japan is as close to what Woods gets as any other golfer in the world.

Only this time, the questions about golf were limited.

“If you can imagine, it’s beyond being a distraction for me,” said Ishikawa, who chose to use an interpreter. “I’m worried for the whole country. The fact that I was finally able to communicate with my parents did help me feel so much better. I just tried to focus, but it is a battle out there for me.”

He said even in hometown of Saitama, the magnitude was 5.0, “so I just hope that everybody else around will be safe, as well.”

With so much on his mind, it was a remarkable debut at Doral for Ishikawa. He had to miss this World Golf Championship a year ago because of his high school graduation.

Despite his overwhelming success in Japan – Ishikawa shot 58 in the final round to win The Crowns last year – it has not translated well in America. His best finish was reaching the third round of the Match Play Championship a year ago. He has made the cut in only two of the five U.S. majors he has played.

This was a strong start, especially with a chilly, whipping wind that he faced for the six holes Friday to complete the first round. The opening round was delayed because of a storm system that topped two TV towers and the monster scoreboard on Thursday.

“Wide fairways, no out-of-bounds,” Ishikawa said in English with a smile as he walked away from his interview. “I like this course.”

Mahan, the only American to win the last five World Golf Championships, apparently feels the same way. He missed only two greens in the opening round, failing to save par from a front bunker on No. 7, which played into the wind.

He answered with a wedge downwind to inside a foot for birdie on the eighth to atone for his only mistake.

Kaymer picked up a late birdie on the 16th to finish two shots back.

“Yesterday it was a scoring day,” Kaymer said. “There were a lot of birdie chances. Today, you have to keep it together to make pars.”

The group at 67 included Nick Watney and Luke Donald, who at No. 3 in the world played in the 1-2-3 grouping with Kaymer and Lee Westwood. Westwood made three bogeys before finishing with a birdie for a 70.

Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh were in the group at 68.

Woods and Mickelson went opposite directions in the three holes they played. Mickelson followed a bogey on No. 7 with two shots in the water at the par-5 eighth. The tee shot landed on a cart path and bounced into the water, and his next shot caught a slope leading up to the green and turned into the pond.

Woods hit 5-iron from 176 yards into the wind on the seventh hole and had to make a 6-footer for his two-putt par. Going the opposite way on the eighth, he hit a 7-iron from 210 yards just left of the green and got up-and-down for birdie.

The second round was to begin Friday afternoon on schedule.

“Guys are not going to be shooting low numbers now,” Woods said. “This is a tough wind because obviously the strength; also the coolness that it brings in there because the ball is not flying very far.”

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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