Nov 12, 2012

A Good Weekend for Young Guns: Ryo Ishikawa & Matteo Manassero Win

Ryo Ishikawa                   photo credit: jpellgen via photopin cc
Several years ago, you may remember, Ryo Ishikawa became the youngest male ever to win a professional event.  

It was May of 2007 at the Japan Golf Tour's Munsingwear Open.  Only 15 at the time, it was immediately clear that Ishikawa was destined for greatness... and the trajectory his career took during the two years that followed seemed proof of that beyond imagination.  

In 2008 there was another Japan Tour victory and the player known as the Bashful Prince became the youngest ever to reach the top 100 in the World Golf Rankings. 2009 saw him win four times on the Japan Tour and become the youngest to break the top 50 and 2010 was notable for the Ishikawa's historic 58, at the Crowns. He closed the year with a win at the 2010 Mitsui Sumitomo VISA. 

And that's where the so-called drought began, Ishikawa spent the next two years winless, and some began to doubt the promising player. Such doubts were put to rest yesterday with a Ryo's win at the 2012 Mitsui Sumitomo VISA.  Though he has yet to win in the US, he DID just turn 21, and this victory made him the youngest player to register 10 wins on the JGTO.  

Ishikawa-Manassero          photo: via / hochi.yomiuri.co.jp
Meanwhile, a playoff at the Singapore Open yielded another young gun winner in the form of 19-year-old Matteo Manassero, who despite his tender years had been experiencing a bit of a drought as well. Already in his third year as a pro the Italian's last win was in April of 2011 at the Malaysia Open. As the youngest ever British Amateur winner, the youngest golfer to play in the Masters, and the and the youngest European Tour winner, Manassero has set himself an ultra-high standard for youthful achievement.

Of course the fact that 23-year-old Rory McIlroy is currently number one in the world puts pressure on all up-and-coming players...  and speaking of the awesome Ulsterman, his third place finish in Singapore has allowed McIlroy to captured both the European AND PGA Tour money lists. An impressive accomplishment... and one his fellow guns will certainly aspire to. 

Update: Speaking of droughts, another one came to an end on the LPGA Tour when Cristie Kerr won for the first time in over two years at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico.  


3 comments:

  1. When these youngest players win once they're immediately swept up into huge marketing contracts and the expectations become enormous, The pressure must be epic. I'm glad Ryo and Matteo won again for both it seemed like a huge relief.

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  2. So true Lisa. Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson are two who must be feeling that pressure now. I'm hoping they might be next in line.

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  3. It's good to see Cristie Kerr win again, I'd like to see her get a couple of more majors under her belt. I also heard that Ishikawa got his PGA Tour card for 2013!

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