Friday, November 19, 2010

Can Ryo Ishikawa Make a Big Move This Weekend?

Right now after 2 rounds in the Dunlop Phoenix JGTO event, Ryo Ishikawa is tied with Tom Watson, Robert Allenby, and Ai Miyazato's brother Kiyoshi at +3. He's 12 shots behind tournament leader Yuta Ikeda, 8 shots behind money-list leader Kyung-Tae Kim, 7 shots behind defending champion Eduardo Molinari, and even 6 shots behind Ai-sama's brother Yusaku (and Robert Karlsson). This is bad news for fans of Ryo-kun, because even though he, Kim, and Ikeda all have 3 wins this season, he trails Kim by more than 18 million yen with only 2 events remaining after this one on the JGTO schedule. It doesn't appear that Hiroyuki Fujita, who sits between Ryo-kun and Ikeda on the money list, will be much of a factor this week (he's at -1 thus far), but if Ikeda wins he'll vault himself right into the thick of the race for #1 and if Kim wins Ryo-kun will have to win the last 2 events just to have a chance to catch him.

[Update 1 (4:18 pm): Ryo-kun's going off the back right behind Watson and Allenby's pairing. Too bad he wasn't paired with them!]

[Update 2 (11/20/10, 10:27 am): Looks like the answer (at least so far) is "no." Ryo-kun's 71 leaves him 12 behind tournament leader Ikeda and 7 behind money list leader Kim. Looks like he'll need to shoot another 58 to have any kind of chance tomorrow!]

[Update 3 (11/21/10, 4:28 am: Almost the worst possible result for Ryo-kun today. He could only tread water while Ikeda won and Kim took 2nd with a closing 64. Here's what the top of the JGTO money list looks like now:

1. Kyung-Tae Kim ¥170.56M
2. Ryo Ishikawa ¥133.58M
3. Yuta Ikeda ¥126.20M
4. Hiroyuki Fujita ¥112.40M

With 40 million yen for the winner and 2 events to go, everyone over 100 million yen still has a chance, but they'll all need some help from Kim if they want to avoid a Korean sweep of the top of the top Japanese tours' money lists.]

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