Patrick Cantlay earned his maiden victory on the Web.com Tour last week in Colombia. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
This week’s Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com boasts a strong field containing a mix of proven winners and young, up-and-coming players. Below is a glance at six players, aged 23 and younger, to keep an eye on this week at Trunp International.
Luke Guthrie (23) -- The Illinois alum and 2012 Web.com Tour graduate has racked up five top-30 finishes in his first seven starts this season. Last week at The Honda Classic, he finished alone in third place for the best finish of his young TOUR career.
Peter Uihlein (23) -- A former Oklahoma State standout and U.S. Amateur champion, Uihlein has posted four consecutive top-25 finishes on the European Tour and currently ranks 50th on its Order of Merit. Uihlein made 3 of 5 cuts in 2011 as an amateur playing on the PGA TOUR but was 0-for-2 last year after turning pro.
Ryo Ishikawa (21) -- In 49 events on TOUR, the young Japanese star has made less than half (24) of his cuts. One of those, however, was last year in Puerto Rico where he notched a career-best runner-up finish. Currenlty 188th in the FedExCup standings.
Patrick Cantlay (20) -- The Web.com Tour’s money leader, Cantlay earned his first professional victory last week at the Colombia Championship. He burst onto the scene in 2011 when, as an amateur, he carded a second-round 60 for the 36-hole lead at the PGA TOUR’s Travelers Championship.
Jordan Spieth (19) -- After a very successful amateur career that includes an NCAA team title at Texas, a No. 1 amateur ranking and low amateur honors at the 2012 U.S. Open, Spieth turned pro in December. He tied for 22nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am.
Si Woo Kim (17) -- Carded a closing 68 to earn his TOUR card with one shot to spare in the final round of q-school last year but cannot become a member until his 18th birthday in June. Missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am in his first-ever start on the PGA TOUR.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Who knew that the Farmers Insurance Open was a home game for Ryo Ishikawa.
The 21-year-old from Japan, who is playing his first full season as a PGA TOUR member, recently bought a house in Carlsbad, Calif., which is about 30 minutes from Torrey Pines. He chose a house which is about 10 minutes from the enclave of Callaway, his equipment sponsor.
"So it sounds good," Ishikawa said. "I play next week Phoenix, and then after that take off, and then back to home in Carlsbad and some practice on the Callaway Center."
Ishikawa couldn't find much to be disappointed in Thursday as he shot 68 on the North Course in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open. He's three strokes off the lead held by defending champion Brandt Snedeker.
"I've done my goal today, so I'll focus on tomorrow," he said.
Ishikawa's best finish on the PGA TOUR is that solo second he posted at last year's Puerto Rico Open -- which earned him enough to qualify for Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR. The talented young man, who turned pro when he was 16, relishes the challenge at this stage of his career.
"I'd like to say the golf course is improved more than Japanese course," Ishikawa said. "So the golf course shape, and more longer distances are longer, and most players are driving longer than me, so it's more difficult place here. But it's good for me."
There's another plus for Ishikawa, too. He's like a rock star back home but he'll be able to live in relative anonimity in the United States.
"The more easier I can walk in town and we can go shopping," he said. "... Here, I can. It's difficult in Japan. So, it's more easier, yeah."
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Phil Mickelson is still the face of Callaway Golf, but there’s no question the Carlsbad, Calif. based company is looking towards the future, after it announced the signing of 21-year-old Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa to a multi-year deal on Thursday at a press conference in Japan.
“I am very happy to join the Callaway team,” Ishikawa said. “I believe the wonderful innovation and support Callaway gives to its many great staff players with help me grow as I compete on the PGA TOUR this year.”
According to Callaway, Ishikawa will have an 8.5 degree RAZR Fit Xtreme driver, 15 degree X Hot fairway wood, 18 degree X Utility Prototype iron, 2013 X Forged irons (3-PW), X Forged wedges (C-grind) in 50 and 58 degrees, and an Odyssey putter in the bag. He’ll also wear Callaway-branded apparel, caps, gloves and footwear.
The Ishikawa signing continues Callaway’s recent youth movement over the last few weeks. While the 21-year-old is the youngest addition to the staff, recent Callaway signings Gary Woodland, Nicolas Colsaerts, Chris Kirk and Andres Gonzales are all 30 or younger.
“Ryo is an exciting, young international talent who has proven he can compete and win at the highest level,” Chip Brewer, Callaway Golf President and CEO, said. “And not only is he an accomplished golfer, Ryo is an extraordinary and generous young man. We are proud that he has chosen our products for their exceptional performance, and we are excited to welcome Ryo to Team Callaway.”
As a 15-year-old, Ishikawa became the youngest golfer to win a men’s tournament on the Japan Golf Tour in 2008. He also won the Japan Golf Tour’s The Crowns event in 2010 with a record-setting 12-under 58 during the final round. Ishikawa will open his 2013 season at the Humana Challenge.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: Ryo Ishikawa won his 12th tournament in Japan earlier this year, but the prodigious 21-year-old is taking the long-awaited next step after earning his TOUR card as a special temporary member. He played a career-high 18 events on TOUR last year, though, so the transition should be seamless.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Ishikawa started the final round of the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com trailing George McNeill by three strokes. He closed with a 68 that included birdies on three of his last four holes to finish as runner-up and qualify for special temporary membership. – Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: The Japanese rock star. When you walk with Ryo during a round of golf, you have an abundance of Japanese media who document his every move on and off the course. I've often thought that must be a tough way to live your life, but Ryo seems to handle it graciously. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: The 2013 PGA TOUR rookie is merely taking his next step on the path set by his elevated expectations, but that he remains on that path is critical. At $871K, he's a no-brainer for salary gamers, but others should be concerned about two facts. First, he's still only 21 in a foreign land. Second, he's averaged just over three top 25s every 20 starts in PGA TOUR events; overall, he's logged seven in 44, including just four in 18 in 2012. His sublime touch around greens is neutralized -- if not eliminated -- by his tee-to-green game. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
||Puerto Rico Open|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 10
Rounds played: 52
Top-10 finishes: 2
Money List rank: N/A
Driving distance: 92nd
Driving accuracy: 179th
Greens in regulation: 185th
Strokes gained-putting: 71st
Scoring average: 165th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is you prediction for Ryo Ishikawa in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Five top international players will be joining the PGA TOUR for the 2013 season after playing as non-members in prior seasons.
Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, Sweden's Peter Hanson and England's David Lynn have committed to the TOUR next year after qualifying through the top 125 non-member money list.
In addition, Germany’s Martin Kaymer is joining the TOUR through his five-year exemption as the 2010 PGA Championship winner.
Colsaerts, Hanson, Kaymer and Lynn will be considered PGA TOUR rookies in 2013. Ishikawa’s 2012 season is considered his rookie season as he played in more than 10 events after joining the TOUR as a Special Temporary Member on March 19.
Here’s a quick look at each player:
|Has made 11 starts on the PGA TOUR, nine in 2012. Has two top-10 finishes. Leads European Tour in driving distance|
|Has made 45 starts on the PGA TOUR, 11 in 2012. Has seven top-10 finishes. Tied for third at this year’s Masters|
|Has made 44 starts on the PGA TOUR, 18 in 2012. Best finish on TOUR was second this year at Puerto Rico Open|
|Has made 47 starts on the PGA TOUR, eight in 2012. Has two wins – 2010 PGA, 2011 WGC-HSBC Champions|
|Has made two starts on the PGA TOUR. Finished second at the PGA Championship|
In the March 14 installment of the Fantasy Mailbag, I pulled the fantasy equivalent of signing for an incorrect scorecard. First, here's the link: Seeking temp work.
It focuses on how Special Temporary Membership influences fantasy value.
Now, the excerpt with the gaffe: "... guys with Special Temporary Membership are still restricted to 12 starts just like all non-members."
In addition to the removal of the restriction of seven sponsor exemptions for non-members, golfers with Special Temporary Membership are also allowed an unlimited number of starts instead of the usual 12 plus THE PLAYERS plus starts via special invitations into any of the four majors. The provision for unlimited starts falls in line with everyone else higher in the Priority Rankings (except for the limitations on guys with medical extensions that would lose their TOUR cards if they fail to meet the terms of the medical).
Therefore, the difference between golfers with Special Temporary Membership and everyone else higher in the Priority Rankings is that golfers with Special Temporary Membership do not accrue FedExCup Points and official earnings.
The distinction that I overlooked doesn't enter into our consciousness often, which helps explain my error. Thank Ryo Ishikawa for forcing the issue.
The Bashful Prince is scheduled to compete in this week's Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. It will be his tenth start of the season. He was given a special invitation for the Masters, so for the sake of this example, he's made eight starts that would have otherwise counted against his maximum of 12 before he accepted Special Temporary Membership.
Ishikawa is committed to next week's FedEx St. Jude Classic and he's already eligible for the U.S. and British Opens as well as the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He'll also eventually qualify for the PGA Championship. With the Memorial and those five events adding to his total of eight starts (minus the Masters), and he'd get to 14.
Readers did the math, thus prompting this Mailbag entry.
Peter Hanson is the only other golfer with Special Temporary Membership right now. I'd offer a similar analysis of his schedule to date in 2012, but as you know now, it doesn't matter. What's relevant to fantasy gamers is that he's going to play in the remaining three majors and eventually qualify for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He's currently 25th in the Official World Golf Ranking. The top 50 on both July 23 and July 30 are exempt.
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods didn’t need it, but Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Luke Donald and amateur Patrick Cantlay – to name a few – did.
What was it? The 10-shot rule.
After two rounds, the Masters cuts to the low 44 players and ties and anyone within 10 shots of the lead. That meant Woods slid in on his own (147, T-40) while the others needed those two shots of grace to make the cut at 5-over 149.
Sixty three players in all made the cut.
Stricker and Bradley shot 77s, but eased in at 4-over 148 along with Fowler and Donald. Cantlay shot 78, but made it at 149.
Who didn’t make it? Among others, former Masters champions Mike Weir, Jose Maria Olazabal, Larry Mize and Tom Watson (151) , Bernhard Langer and Rory Sabbatini, who both shot 80s Friday and finished at 152, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa (153) and Darren Clarke, who shot 81 and finished at 154.
Ryo Ishikawa is headed to the PGA TOUR for the remainder of the 2012 season.
The Japanese star has accepted Special Temporary Membership, which gives him unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the 2012 season. Non-members are allowed a maximum of seven sponsor exemptions and can play a maximum of 12 PGA TOUR events. Special Temporary Members are not eligible to receive FedExCup points.
Ishikawa is playing this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, eligible through his top 50 status in the Official World Golf Ranking through March 12. He missed the cut in last week's Transitions Championship.
In just six starts, Ishikawa has earned $582,471, including a runner-up finish at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com, where he surpassed the $411,943 (No. 150 on 2011 money list/Jason Bohn) needed for Special Temporary Membership.
Ishikawa has the opportunity to join the PGA TOUR as a Regular Member for the 2013 season should his World Golf Championship money and official prize money equal or exceed 125th place on the 2012 official PGA TOUR Money List.
The tee times for the first round of this week’s The Transitions Championships have been released. CLICK HERE for the tee times. Use the space below to comment about the pairings at the Copperhead Course.
Here’s a look at some of the notable groups in the first two rounds:
Zach Johnson/Geoff Ogilvy/Padraig Harrington, 8:27 a.m.,
How strong is the field this week? This three major champions are among 17 that showed up.
John Huh/David Toms/Jonathan Byrd, 8:37 a.m., No. 1
Rookie John Huh finds himself in an "A" pairing after his win last month at the Mayakoba Classic.
Luke Donald/Justin Rose/K.J. Choi, 1:33 p.m, No. 1
The world No. 2 (Donald) tees it up with last week's winner (Rose) and a two-time winner here (Choi).
Bud Cauley/Ryo Ishikawa/Tom Lewis, 2:04 p.m., No. 1
The oldest player in this group, Cauley, is all of 21 years old (in all fairness, he turns 22 on Friday). Lewis, who turned pro after last year's British Open, makes his U.S. debut.
Gary Woodland/Webb Simpson/Scott Stallings, 1:22 p.m., No.
This trio finished 1-2-3 last year at Copperhead. Stallings is making his return to the TOUR after missing four weeks with an injury.