Singapore: Ryo Ishikawa, golfing prodigy turned prolific winner, has confirmed his participation in next week’s SMBC Singapore Open.
Yusaku Miyazato, winner of last year’s Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) Money List, will also line up in the US$1 million event over the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
The 72-hole stroke play tournament (January 18-21) is jointly-sanctioned by the JGTO and the Asian Tour.
Ishikawa is one of the standout names on the entry list.
“It will be my first time playing in the SMBC Singapore Open and it will be my opening game for 2018,” said the 26-year-old.
“I am looking forward to playing alongside the Japan Tour and overseas players. I hope I can show the golf fans in Singapore and the fans who will be watching on TV some of my best golf.”
Nicknamed the ‘Bashful Prince’, he is a 15-time winner in Japan having burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion in 2007. That year he became the youngest winner of a regular men’s JGTO tournament by claiming the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at the age of 15 years and eight months. Remarkably, he was competing as an amateur and it was his first Tour appearance.
He turned professional the following year and took the game by storm – particularly in 2009 when he triumphed four times and claimed the JGTO Money List.
His most recent win came in Japan in 2016 at the RIZAP KBC Augusta tournament.
Since 2012 he has spent most of his time in America on the PGA Tour. He has played in two Presidents Cup (2009 and 2011) and two World Cups (2013 and 2016).
Miyazato, the elder brother of women’s star Ai Miyazato, enjoyed the finest season of his career last year by winning four times in Japan – the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, Tour World Cup, Japan PGA Championship and The Crowns.
The 37-year-old topped the Money List for the first time with winnings of just over US$1.62 million and will hope to capitalise on that form and try to become the first Japanese winner of Singapore’s national Open since Kesahiko Uchida in 1976.
Other players from the top-10 on the JGTO Money List who are heading for Singapore are Satoshi Kodaira, Yuta Ikeda, a three-time winner in 2017, Han Seungsu, Shugo Imahira, Shaun Norris and Korean Song Young-han, winner of the 2016 SMBC Singapore Open.
China’s Liang Wenchong is another notable JGTO member who will take part at Sentosa.
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