Sayonara, Phil! San Diego's Got Ryo Now

Sayonara, Phil! San Diego's Got Ryo Now

Fret not, San Diegans, backup has arrived.


Phil Mickelson might be moving eastward, but we snagged an import from the Far East.


A new Carlsbad resident humbled the Torrey Pines North Course at the Farmers Insurance Open Thursday, although his short irons produced a lot more English than he did. His name? Ryo Ishikawa – a 21-year-old Japan native who digs this side of the Pacific.


Then again, they’re diggin’ him over here, too. Dozens of fans of Japanese descent followed Ishikawa during Thursday’s opening round, where he posted a 4-under-par 68. And afterward, 20 some-odd Japanese media swarmed him to discuss that very round, which has him tied for 20th place.


Despite Japanese golfers such as Shigeki Maruyama or Shingo Katayama having cracked the top 5 in major championships, none has made a cannonball splash quite like Ryo. As La Jolla resident and fan Ken Harumota said: “He’s a rock star.”

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