Singapore, January 6: Ryo Ishikawa, golfing prodigy turned prolific winner, will compete in next week’s SMBC Singapore Open after organisers announced today the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) entry list.
Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato, winner of last year’s JGTO Money List, and seven out of the top-10 players from that List have also confirmed they will head to the US$1million event.
The tournament will be played on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club from January 18 to 21 and is jointly-sanctioned by the JGTO and the Asian Tour.
Ishikawa is one of the many standout names on the entry list and news of his participation will be greeted with great delight by his legion of fans in the region.
“It will be my first time playing in the SMBC Singapore Open and it will be my opening game for 2018,” said the 26-year-old.
“I am looking forward to playing alongside the Japan Tour and overseas players. I hope I can show the golf fans in Singapore and the fans who will be watching on TV some of my best golf!”
Nicknamed the “Bashful Prince” he is a 15-time winner in Japan having burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion in 2007. That year he became the youngest winner of a regular men’s JGTO tournament by claiming the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at the age of 15 years and eight months. Remarkably, he was competing as an amateur and it was his first Tour appearance.
He turned professional the following year and took the game by storm – particularly in 2009 when he triumphed four times and claimed the JGTO Money List.
His most recent win came in Japan in 2016 at the RIZAP KBC Augusta tournament. However, since 2012 he has spent most of his time playing on the PGA Tour. He has played in two Presidents Cup (2009 and 2011) and two World Cups (2013 and 2016).
Thirty-seven year-old Miyazato, the elder brother of women’s star Ai Miyazato, enjoyed the finest season of his career last year by winning four times in Japan in the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, TourWorld Cup, Japan PGA Championship and The Crowns.
He topped the Money List for the first time with winnings of just over US$1.62 million and will hope to captilise on that form and try to become the first Japanese winner of Singapore’s national Open since Kesahiko Uchida’s victory in 1976.
The other players from the top-10 on the Money List are Satoshi Kodaira, Yuta Ikeda – a three-time winner in 2017 – Han Seungsu, Shugo Imahira, Shaun Norris, and Song Younghan – winner of the 2016 SMBC Singapore Open.
Liang Wenchong from China, the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, is another notable member from the JGTO competing.