By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
LAS VEGAS -- Ryo Ishikawa has the eyes of his homeland on him every time he plays. There wasn't much good news to report last season, as Ishikawa had only one top-25 (T-10, HP Byron Nelson Championship) in the 2013 season. His poor play sent him to the Web.com Tour Finals.
Ishikawa's form has improved drastically since the end of the 2013 season. He closed the Web.com Tour Finals with three consecutive top-10s to regain his TOUR card. He finished T-21 at the first event of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, the Frys.com Open; it was just his second top-25 on TOUR in this calendar year. Ishikawa is in the top 10 at this week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open after shooting 67-66-68 at TPC Summerlin.
"That was a pretty tough four tournaments," Ishikawa said of the Web.com Tour Finals. "But I played well, and then I got a little confidence for my game."
Ishikawa has benefitted from having another Japanese player on TOUR, as well. Hideki Matsuyama took up PGA TOUR membership for the 2013-14 season. He finished third at last week's Frys.com Open, but withdrew due to illness this week.
"He gives me lots of great energy," Ishikawa said. "He helps me a lot. He's a great player and a great guy. We talka lot about golf and our games. It works very well."