Whimsically wonderful Ryo Ishikawa is back on US shores, and not a moment too soon.
While the PGA Tour struggles with a simmering scandal and a weighty rules issue, the young Japanese champion will bring a welcome breath of fresh air... and a rainbow of riotous color... to the 2010 Northern Trust Open later this week.
Ryo actually arrived several days ago, to indulge in one of his all time favorite hobbies: shopping. He's hit at least one California mall and been spotted at In-N-Out Burger. Talk about living the Southern California lifestyle.
The last time Ryo was stateside, was in October, as one of Greg Norman's two captain's selections for the International Presidents Cup team. He was the youngest player ever on a President's Cup team and won three matches at that event... including the famous one against Kenny Perry. Meanwhile, he also became Japan's youngest ever money list winner.
Never short on style, Mr. Ishikawa's English was somewhat limited when he was here last year, obliging him to speak through a translator most of the time and perpetuating his reputation as the bashful prince. But rumor has it he's been working with a language coach and is determined to answer questions in English this time around. That would definitely delight his growing contingent of US fans and with golf growing globally, it's a sound business decision too.
OK so here's the thing. I may be posting about Ryo Ishikawa a lot... like, tons... in the coming days. He's that fun. For now, courtesy of top global golf news source, Mostly Harmless, here's Ryo playing in a type of Japanese Big Break with some other awesome Japanese stars. Cuteness personified.
Photos by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images AsiaPac