Ryo Ishikawa Officially Comes of Age, Remains Ultra-Intense

© Golf Digest Online
Early this week Ryo Ishikawa officially "came of age".  In Japan the second Monday of January is "Coming of Age Day", a special holiday day where those who've reached 20, the age of majority, are celebrated with festivities, ceremonies and parties. 

Soon after the celebration the intrepid young golfer was heading to Hawaii for the Sony Open which begins tomorrow.  In the meantime, an intense ten hour practice round at Waialea Golf Club golf course seemed to demonstrate that the hardworking Japanese superstar had paid little heed to the words of Lee Westwood who a couple of weeks ago suggested that Ishikawa was "far too intense" and "needed to get away from golf more".

The young phenom will be paired with Webb Simpson and K.J. Choi at Sony, and it's a pretty sure bet they'll be one of the most followed groups. 

The Golf Channel's Randall Mell suggested that the "Bashful Prince" was in golf's "hot seat" as he hasn't yet proved himself on US soil.  While some readers agreed with that assessment, many disagree, citing his myriad wins in Japan... and his youth.  In any case, lots of us are expecting (and looking forward to) a Ryo Ishikawa PGA Tour win in 2012.

As one commenter perceptively wrote,  I think a win by a Ryo Ishikawa will do the world of golf a lot of good. 

Note: Many thanks to Noriko, a friend and an avid Ryo Ishikawa fan in Japan.