Ishikawa staying put in Japan

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Ryo Ishikawa is happy playing his golf in Japan and is not ready to move to the US-based PGA Tour.

Ryo Ishikawa is happy playing his golf in Japan and is not ready to move to the US-based PGA Tour.

The 19-year-old star made that clear at the Japan Tour’s Dunlop Phoenix this week when he told reporters: “Everyone around me is getting excited, but I haven’t thought about it at all.

“I have no interest (in changing tours). I want to do what I did this year.”

Ishikawa, who is hoping to add the Dunlop Phoenix to the Taiheiyo Masters he won last week and take his Japan Tour tally this year to four victories, did not enjoy a very successful season outside of Japan this year.

He failed to make the cut at both the US-based Masters and US PGA and finished 33rd at the US Open. His best finish in a major this year came at The Open at St Andrews where he was 27th.

With three tournaments left on the Japan Tour, Ishikawa, last year’s top money winner, trails money leader Kim Kyung Tae by 13 million yen.

A win at the Dunlop Phoenix this week would earn him a winners cheque of 40 million yen and put him in a strong position to defend his money crown.

“I don’t want to golf afraid,” said Ishikawa, who has yet to win the Dunlop Phoenix. “When I’m on the course, I want to play like I’m out there practicing.”

As is their custom, the Dunlop Phoenix organisers have once more invited players of international standing from the west to join the field.

This year they include Italian Ryder Cup star, Eduardo Molinari, who is the defending champion, Sweden’s Robert Karlsson and Fiji’s Vijay Singh.

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