The Loop

Ryo on Pebble Beach: 'More beautiful than I thought'

February 08, 2010

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Ever since he watched Tiger Woods win the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on television from his home in Japan, Ryo Ishikawa has dreamed of playing the course. Monday, he got his wish.

Playing in this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on a sponsor exemption, the 18-year-old played a morning practice round by himself and was still smiling afterward. Pebble Beach lived up to his expectations and then some.

"More beautiful than I thought," he said through an interpreter.

His biggest surprise?

"How up and down the sixth hole was," he said of the ocean-lined par-5.

Ishikawa was also shocked how challenging the short par-3 seventh hole played.

"It's the most difficult hole," he said. "It's just 100 yards, but you can't tell where the wind is coming from."

Ishikawa tied for 32nd last week in the Northern Trust Open, his best finish in a PGA Tour event.

-- Mark Soltau