Former teen prodigy Ryo Ishikawa has qualified for June’s US Open at LA Country Club.
The Japanese player has secured his place in the third Major of the year after competing in a 36-hole qualifier in his homeland.
Ishikawa rose to prominence when became the youngest player to win a tournament on the Japan Golf Tour after claiming victory in the 2007 Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at the age of just 15 years and 8 months.
At that point, he had seemed set for a stellar career, a notion that was enhanced two years later when, aged 17, he was paired with Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood at the Open. It didn’t work out for the player in that tournament, as he missed the cut, but he memorably competed against Woods again in 2011 when he played against him for the International team in the Presidents Cup.
In those early years, Ishikawa had been dubbed by some as “the new Tiger Woods.” However, hopes that he would go on to enjoy a career comparable to the 15-time Major winner faded despite him becoming the youngest player to reach the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking in 2009, aged 18. To date, his highest world ranking stands at World No.29, which he achieved in November 2009.
Despite failing to fulfill those sky-high expectations, the 31-year-old still has an enviable record, including 18 Japan Tour victories. One of those, the 2010 Crowns at Nagoya Golf Club, included a round of 58, while his most recent win on the Tour came just last year in the Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters – his third victory in the tournament. He is currently ranked World No.257.
While Ishikawa has played in the US Open six times, he has yet to make a significant impact, with a tie for 30th in 2011 his best finish so far. Nevertheless, the year before that, at Pebble Beach, he caught the attention of many fans after challenging towards the top of the leaderboard while wearing a striking pink outfit. He even finished the Friday tied for second before eventually settling for a T33. His most recent appearance in the tournament came last year, where he missed the cut.
Across all four Majors, Ishikawa’s best finish came in a tie for 20th in the 2011 Masters at Augusta National.
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golf Monthly RSS Feed…