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October 21 2013

10:00 AM

Ishikawa continues impressive play

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Ryo Ishikawa's closing 65 boosted him to a tie for second.

By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM

LAS VEGAS -- Ryo Ishikawa won't be in the field at this week's CIMB Classic in Malaysia, but the budding Japanese star will return to action the following week at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China.

It will be his 10th career WGC start -- and he'll be riding plenty of momentum.

Ishikawa matched his career-best PGA TOUR finish with a tie for second Sunday at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He shot a final-round 65 to finish at 18-under 266, six shots behind Webb Simpson.

"I'm very confident with my long game and getting better with my short game, so my game is good now," Ishikawa said. "I'm pretty happy with the result."

Ishikawa, who turned 22 years old last month, has started the 2013-14 season with two consecutive top-25 finishes; he finished T-21 at last week's Frys.com Open. Ishikawa is fourth in the FedExCup standings after the year's first two events.

He had to play the Web.com Tour Finals last month after posting just one top-25 finish in 23 starts in the 2013 TOUR season. He finished in the top-10 in three of four Web.com Tour Finals events to regain his playing status.

"I've played well these two months," said Ishikawa, whose other runner-up finish came at the 2012 Puerto Rico Open. "I had a great start. Definitely a great start."

Not playing this week will allow Ishikawa to rest after playing six of the last seven weeks. The only week he did not tee it up during that stretch was the week of The Presidents Cup.

Ishikawa had played for the International Team in the previous two Presidents Cups but did not make Nick Price's team this year. Fellow Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama, who is one year younger than Ishikawa, made the team and was one of the bright spots in a losing effort.

No doubt Ishikawa would love to join Matsuyama for the next Presidents Cup, which will be held in Korea in 2015 -- the first time the event will be in Asia.

While Matsuyama withdrew from the Shriners due to illness, Ishikawa made another strong statement in the two-year process to work his way back on the team.

Ishikawa is glad to have another Japanese player on the PGA TOUR.

"He is a great player and at the same time is a great guy," Ishikawa said. "We talk a lot for our golf and our game. So it works pretty well."

 

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