Wednesday

Ryo Romance has golf journos "exceeding social norms"

Ryo At the Canon Open, Oct 2011  • • •  Photo by Sankei via Getty Images
At barely twenty, Ryo Ishikawa has already had more experience with the press than most players ever will, and he's often been praised for the grace with which he handles the throngs of reporters who track his every move.

Recently however things have been getting a bit out of hand. To the extent that the youthful golf champion's manager... who also happens to be his Mom... felt it necessary to release a statement yesterday.

The unusual statement got right to the point: "There exists a woman whom Ryo Ishikawa is going out with".

It seems the ultra-endearing "Bashful Prince" has a girlfriend.  She's actually a classmate from junior high school and the relationship's been going on for almost three years.  Rumor has it the lucky lass will be officially introduced at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne next month.  Meanwhile the story is creating a media frenzy in Japan.

It's gotten to the point where family, friends and sponsors of the superstar golfer have been bothered by "news-gathering activities exceeding social norms in the form of making surprise night-time visits and shadowing."

My good friend Norikio... always an excellent source for breaking golf news out of Japan... told me there were four security guards shadowing Ryo on the course recently,  which must be extremely distracting.  And there can be little doubt that fan frenzy, media madness and subsequent security needs will only increase as the President's Cup approaches and this story develops.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Tour heads to the ABC Golf Club this week for the Mynavi ABC Championship where Ryo Ishikawa has a stellar history.  He won the tournament in 2008, and was runner-up last year.  Right now Ryo is going for his first win of the season... and we're hoping he'll get it here. 

At Golf Girl's Diary, the self-proclaimed headquarters of the US Branch of the Ryo Ishikawa Fan Club, we wish Ryo... and his young fiancée... the best.