The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the Transitions Championship below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUPS
|Gary Woodland vs. Webb Simpson||Woodland handed Simpson a tough loss at Copperhead last year|
|Justin Rose vs. Luke Donald||Rose working on a season like the one Donald authored in 2011|
|Brandt Snedeker vs. Jhonattan Vegas||It's Vanderbilt (Snedeker) against Texas (Vegas) at Copperhead|
|Ryo Ishikawa vs. K.J. Choi||Asia's top young player takes on Asia's best over-40 player|
|Angel Cabrera vs. Zach Johnson||Two former Masters champions on road to Augusta National|
Japan's Ryo Ishikawa starts the final round of the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com only three shots off the lead, but he has last year's tsunami on his mind.
It's one year to the day since a devastating earthquake -- and the resulting tsunami -- wreaked havoc on his homeland. Ishikawa went on to donate his 2011 earnings to relief efforts.
On the one-year anniversary, Ishikawa, 20, will wear a black ribbon in the final round at Trump International. He will also observe a moment of silence on the first tee.
Ryo Ishikawa came to Puerto Rico to try and improve his world ranking in hopes of qualifying for the Masters.
The 20-year-old from Japan learned on Tuesday he had been extended a special invitational to play at Augusta National, though. So now Ishikawa just has a golf tournament to win.
Ishikawa will start the third round of the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com in a tie for third, four strokes off the pace being set by Aussie Matt Jones. Ishikawa shot 67 on Friday and is 7 under for the tournament.
"Short game today was very good, and approach shots and putting," Ishikawa said. "Everything went well. That resulted in birdies and some nice par saves. So the short game was the key thing."
Ishikawa is making his first appearance at Trump National. A year ago he played in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship but now that he has slipped out of the top 50 in the world -- Ishikawa currently ranks 53rd -- those events, as well as the Masters, can’t be taken for granted.
Ishikawa, a nine-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, says gesture from the Masters hasn’t changed his outlook, though.
"It is, of course, a relief that I got the invitation from the
Masters committee, but when I play a tournament, I concentrate on
the tournament," Ishikawa said. "So I don't think about anything
"So there are two aspects, yes, I feel relieved, but when I play a tournament, I will play to win the tournament."
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The first time Ryo Ishikawa played at Torrey Pines, he was 15 years old.
The Japanese phenom -- who had already won as an amateur on the Japan Tour -- had come to the United States to play in the Callaway Junior Worlds. He shot 12 over and finished 17 shots behind the winner, Dylan Fritelli, a South African who is now a senior at the University of Texas.
The media attention, even then, was huge. He told Marc Figueroa of the North County Times prior to the tournament that "I can't go to the shopping mall like I usually do. That's a big thing for me because I like to shop." More than 70 members of the media followed Ishikawa's Monday practice round that week.
Two years later, when he made his PGA TOUR debut at the Northern Trust Open, several hundred Japanese reporters and photographers were on hand to chronicle his exploits that week. Ishikawa, who has won nine times on the Japan Tour, ended up missing the cut at Riviera in 2009.
Ishikawa has gone on to play in 27 TOUR events and has posted two top-10s -- a tie for fourth at last year's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and a tie for ninth at the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010.
Interestingly, though, the buzz appears to have died down a little as less than 20 Japanese media requested credentials for the Farmers Insurance Open this year. But Ishikawa is playing extremely well -- he's currently 3 under through 14 holes on the South Course and at 9 under, one stroke out of a six-way tie for eighth.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Ryo Ishikawa made short work of Bubba Watson on Sunday to earn the first point for the International Team.,
When the 20-year-old from Japan finished off his 3 and 2 victory, Greg Norman's squad led in five other matches, including the first four. The International Team needs eight Singles wins for a tie and nine to win.
Watson actually won the first hole with a birdie but Ishikawa answered with a birdie of his own at the next to square the match. The Japanese pro then won three of the next four holes with a bogey, a par and a birdie to go 3 up.
Ishikawa double bogeyed the eighth hole to give one back but immediately got that back at the ninth when Watson made a bogey. He rolled in a 12-footer at No. 13 for another win and coasted home.
Watson did win the 15th hole when he two-putted for birdie from 43 feet on the par 5. But it was a case of too little, too late and a pair of bogeys at No. 16 sealed the International win.
Ishikawa, who was a late arrival at Royal Melbourne, has now played in two Presidents Cups and won both his Singles matches. He went 1-2 in the team matches, partnering with Ernie Els.
MELBOURNE, Australia – Ryo Ishikawa, the 20-year-old star from Japan, was the last player to arrive into Melbourne. His plane was due to land on Tuesday afternoon in Australia.
“Unfortunately, it is what it is,” International captain Greg Norman said when asked about Ishikawa. “You’ve got to expect the unexpected.”
Because of his late arrival, Ishikawa will not have the preparation time at Royal Melbourne as the others playing in this week’s Presidents Cup. But fortunately, he’ll be able to call upon the course knowledge that Norman and the other Australians on the team possess.
“The great part about Ryo is he's young,” Norman said. “He can survive the jet‑lag and survive an overnight flight and get in here. He's a good enough player, he'll have enough information coming his way tomorrow about the golf course. So I'm not concerned about it.
“Obviously we would like to have as a team unit everybody together and being engaged from today onwards, but, hey, it is what it is, and you just adapt to it.”
Said teammate Adam Scott: “That’s obviously not ideal preparation for him, but you know, he’s a very good golfer, so hopefully he can take a lot in tomorrow.”
Ishikawa played last week at the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters on the Japan Tour, where he finished tied for eighth. He made his first Presidents Cup appearance two years ago as a teenager and produced a 3-2-0 record, including a singles win over Kenny Perry.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Ryo Ishikawa has taken up special temporary membership on the PGA TOUR for the remainder of the 2011 season. That means he may accept unlimited sponsor's exemptions for the rest of the year.
The 19-year-old from Japan has played in 10 PGA TOUR events this year and has earned $577,136 – the bulk of that coming two weeks ago at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational where he tied for fourth. Ishikawa earned $473,136 at Firestone.
Since his earnings are greater than the player who finished No. 150 on the money list a year ago, Ishikawa became eligible for Special Temporary Membership.
To join as a fully-exempt member next year without going to qualifying school, Ishikawa needs to earn enough money to be equal or be greater than the player who finished at No. 125 on this year's PGA TOUR money list.
Billy Mayfair currently owns that spot with $538,493. But there is one event remaining in the TOUR's regular season, four events in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup and four events in the Fall Series.
Ishikawa is not eligible for the Playoffs but he can play in the Fall Series. The player who finished at No. 125 a year ago earned $786,977.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Greg Norman is scheduled to meet with prospective members of his Presidents Cup team on Tuesday at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Something tells us the Shark will be feeling pretty darn good, too, after the success of the international players at last week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Australia's Adam Scott, who idolized Norman as a kid, took the dominating victory, winning by four shots at Firestone Country Club. Jason Day, Scott's 23-year-old countryman, and Ryo Ishikawa, the 19-year-old phenom from Japan, tied for fourth while Kyung-taw Kim finished in a three-way tie for sixth.
Day leads the Presidents Cup standings while Scott jumped from fourth to second and Kim moved up one spot to No. 5. Ishikawa, who was one of Norman's two Captain's Picks in 2009, now stands 11th, a jump of two spots.
The top 10 in the U.S. and International Team standings at the end of the BMW Championship (Sept. 18) automatically qualify for the biennial matches, which will be held Nov. 17-20 at Royal Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. Norman and U.S. Captain Fred Couples will complete their teams with two picks a week later.
"You want to try and get as many Aussies on that team as we can, I think," Scott said Sunday after his victory. "It's good for our team, and Greg has just got to be happy seeing a few of the guys playing in form at this point in the year. Obviously Jason is playing great, does every week. But Greg is looking to finalize his team now, so I'm really glad I'm on it and not in the position I was in last time."
Scott, who will play on his fifth Presidents Cup team in November, joined Ishikawa as a Captain's Pick for the matches at Harding Park in San Francisco two years ago. The top 10 international players currently hail from three countries -- Australia (2), Korea (3) and South Africa (5).
Asked whether he would like to play Tiger Woods in Singles,
Scott took the high road. Woods' long-time caddy, Steve Williams,
now works for Scott.
"I'm not asking for that at all," Scott said. "If that's how it falls, I'm up for it, absolutely. But I think it would probably come down to strategy at that point. It depends what the situation is. But I think the Internationals really need to win this Presidents Cup."
The U.S. owns a 6-1-1 record in the matches. The lone International victory came at Royal Melbourne in 1998.
Woods currently stands 24th in the U.S. rankings but Couples said last week he would pick the former world No. 1 if he doesn't grab one of the 10 qualifying spots. Rickie Fowler made the biggest move among the Americans -- jumping from 19th to 11th with his tie for second at the Bridgestone Invitational.