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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ryo Says "No"

Photo of Ryo IshikawaI suppose many of you have already heard, but Ryo Ishikawa has become the latest foreign star to turn down membership on the PGA Tour. He said he just wanted to do what he did this year again. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.)

Many people will say it's a mistake, but it's probably a good choice for him. Ryo is only 19 years old, after all; I think we all forget how young some of these players are because they play so well for their age.

There's been so much talk about foreign players not taking PGA Tour membership when it's offered to them that I think people are starting to overreact a little. Is refusing a Tour card really a slap in the PGA's face, as some seem to think?

Perhaps. The PGA has been the 800-lb gorilla in the room for so long that it's possible players from other tours have built up a little resentment. Maybe the sudden ascension of so many foreign players to the top of the world rankings has caused a backlash against a perceived lack of respect.

And then again, maybe a lot of players (especially younger players) have decided that having a personal life is a good thing. Maybe grabbing all the money they can doesn't appeal to them... or perhaps they can get all the money they want on their home tours. Maybe, just maybe, some have taken Tiger's past year as a cautionary tale of what can happen when you become too big and lose track of what really matters to you.

And maybe some just miss seeing their favorite football team (that's soccer to us Americans) at a decent hour.

At any rate, I don't expect this to hurt Ryo's game any. The kid's got a practice green that duplicates the greens at Augusta, doesn't he? He'll be plenty ready when he comes over here to play.


  1. He won the JGTO money title last year and is 40 million yen behind the leader on this year's list. Something tells me he's motivated to keep duelling for JGTO domination until he feels he's ready to contend on the PGA Tour.

  2. I agree - the kid got and took some solid advice. There's nothing wrong with waiting a couple more yeas before thinking about moving to the western hemisphere. He'll be playing in the US several times this year, and he'll play a few with the Euro Tour guys. Playing in Japan isn't too different than Tiger playing the top level amateur events when he was 18-19-20 years old.

    Good for you, Ryo.