Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa nearly shot his age at the PGA Championship and that wasn’t a good thing for the 19-year-old sensation.
Ishikawa put six shots in the water on Thursday to finish with the worst score of his professional career, a 15-over 85 in the first round at Atlanta Athletic Club. It got so bad at one point that Ishikawa said he just “stopped counting.”
He was the only one. At the end of his day, it was Ishikawa’s worst round in three PGA Championship appearances and his highest score of the year, surpassing the 83 he posted at the Japan Golf Tour Championship.
“I think this is probably the first time I hit so many in the water,” Ishikawa said through an interpreter.
Ishikawa’s problems began early on the 11th, his second hole of the day, when he hit into the water and made double bogey. He took a 6 on the 15th, the 260-yard par-3 fronted by water, then had back to back double bogeys on the 17th and 18th holes. Ishikawa went bogey, double bogey, double bogey on the second, third and fourth holes and it looked like he might have a chance at bettering the highest first-round PGA Championship score ever of 94 shot by Gary Campbell at Pebble Beach in 1977.
But Ishikawa regained the form that has made him a nine-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour with pars on the final five holes.
After golf, McIlroy’s date with tennis
US Open winner Rory McIlroy is headed for a tennis vacation after finishing his PGA Championship on Sunday with a second straight 74, sending him to 11-over par and tied for 64th.
He said his injured right wrist felt better and he was simply glad for a few days off, but he's not heading home to Northern Ireland, he’s off to Cincinnati.
“I hear it's nice up there this time of year,” he said with a grin.
Cincinnati is also site of a WTA tournament featuring McIlroy's friend, world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. The two have been the subject of gossip since they were photographed together a month ago.
McIlroy, though, quickly turned the conversation back to his PGA performance.