Watson touts Ishikawas promise


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Tom Watson paid high praise to young Ryo Ishikawa’s putting stroke.

“He reminded me of me when I was 18,” Watson said. “Made everything.'

Watson attacked the hole in his youth.

“One hole, [Ishikawa] knocked it in from about four feet. It hit the back of the cup and kind of went up, like that. The crowd went `Oh,’ like he almost missed it. He just rammed it right in the middle of the back of the hole.”

Watson, 60, played alongside Ishikawa, 18, and Rory McIlroy, 21, in the first two rounds. Ishikawa (1-under 141) is in the hunt. Watson (7-over 149) should make the cut and McIlroy (10-over 152) will miss the cut.

Watson is playing what is likely his last U.S. Open and wanted to extend his stay by playing the weekend. He rammed in a 4-footer for par at the final hole to stay within 10 shots of the leader.