124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Another victory for Ryo

August 02, 2009

The victory Sunday by Ryo Ishikawa in the Sun Chlorella Classic in Otaru, Japan, should not be discounted simply because it came on the Japan Golf Tour. It isn't the quality of the tour that is important here, but the quality of the player.

Ishikawa, at 17 a Japanese wunderkind, has now won four times on the Japan Golf Tour, which obviously does not match the caliber of the PGA or European tours. But he did beat Brendan Jones, the 75th-ranked player in the player, for his second victory this year, putting atop the Japan Golf Tour's money list.

What it was was another dose of victory for a player for whom international stardom appears only to be a matter of time. Every victory, on whatever tour, accelerates the experience factor and reinforces his confidence.

Any discussion of the best young players in golf probably ought to begin with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Ishikawa.

-- John Strege