Hot Seat: Blame it on Ryo

By Randall MellJanuary 10, 2012, 7:00 pm

Careful where you sit, the surfaces get hot around here.

Welcome back to golf’s Hot Seat, where we aim to gauge who is facing the most heat during the week.

Here’s our special heat index with the PGA Tour turning to the Sony Open and the European Tour to the Joburg Open:

Wasabi spicy – Ryo Ishikawa

They call him the “Bashful Prince.”

The nickname wasn’t supposed to characterize how shy he is about climbing onto PGA Tour leaderboards, but it does.

Though Ishikawa is only 20 years old, he’s already won 10 professional events in Japan. He was 15 when he won his first. He was 17 when he cracked the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

A proven commodity in his Japanese homeland, Ishikawa’s a superstar there. In the United States? He’s overrated, so far.

Ishikawa arrives for this week’s Sony Open looking to make a better American impression. Because when you look at his PGA Tour record, you can’t helping wondering, what’s all the fuss about? In 24 starts in PGA Tour stroke-play events, Ishikawa has missed the cut 13 times. He shot 85 in the opening round of the PGA Championship in his last American start and missed that cut. This was after he looked like he was breaking through over here with a tie for fourth at the WGC-Bridgestone. That, however, is his only top-10 finish in a PGA Tour event.

There is still a lot of time for Ishikawa to make his mark over here, but the temperature is rising.

Mark Wilson

Thermal lava plumes – Mark Wilson

Every defending champ takes a hot seat.

With Wilson returning to defend his title at the Sony Open, there’s pressure to live up to the title, to perform like a champion, to shake all the right hands and still shake in a few putts.

In 47 years of the Sony Open, only Hubert Green (1978-79), Corey Pavin (1986-87) and Ernie Els (2003-04) have successfully defended titles.

Charl Schwartzel

Serengeti sunburn – Charl Schwartzel

With his buddy Louis Oosthuizen successfully defending his title at the Africa Open on Sunday, it’s Schwartzel's turn to repeat at the European Tour’s Joburg Open this week.

Nobody wants his buddies one-upping him.

Actually, if Schwartzel wins again, it would be a three-peat. He won this event in 2010 and ’11.

By the way, only five players have won the same European Tour sanctioned event three years in a row: Ian Woosnam (1990-92 Monte Carlo Open), Nick Faldo (1991-93 Irish Open), Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000 PGA Championship), Ernie Els (2002-04 Heineken Classic) and Tiger Woods (2005-07 WGC–CA Championship and WGC–Bridgestone Invitational).

Erik Compton

Pacific heat wave – Erik Compton

Yeah, I know, this remarkable man has faced a lot more pressure in his life, but in golf terms, Compton, 32, is sure to feel some heat trying to take advantage of his chance as a rookie. Yes, after all he’s gone through, this season should feel like frosting for Compton, but there’s self-imposed pressure in wanting to get off to a fast start. When you’ve waited so long, tried so hard, overcome so much to make it, there’s a struggle in not wanting it to too much.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.