By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa share the same homeland, but took contrasting paths to the Frys.com Open. Matsuyama represented the International Team at last week’s Presidents Cup, while Ishikawa is fresh from the Web.com Tour Finals.
Japan’s two young stars are off to good starts at CordeValle. Matsuyama (70-66) and Ishikawa (69-67) both were at 6-under 136 and in the top 10 when the morning wave completed play.
“I didn’t hit my driver well at all, but I did hit my irons well and hit some good putts,” Matsuyama said.
Matsuyama, who turned pro in April, earned his 2013-14 TOUR card by finishing in the top 25 in all six of his TOUR starts as a pro, including top-10s at the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. Ishikawa regained it at the Web.com Tour Finals after finishing in the top 10 in the final three events of the four-tournament season. He had to attend the Web.com Tour Finals after posting just one top-25 (T-10, HP Byron Nelson Championship) in 23 TOUR starts in 2013.
Matsuyama, at No. 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the highest-ranked player in the Frys.com Open field. He went 1-3-1 at the Presidents Cup.
“It was an unbelievable experience at the Presidents Cup, to have that opportunity to play with so many great players. I was so nervous, but to be able to play in that type of a situation and be nervous, but still be able to play, really was a great experience,” Matsuyama said.