Ishikawa back for another shot at SMBC Open
Former teenage sensation Ryo Ishikawa will take another shot at becoming the first Japanese player to win the SMBC Singapore Open title since Kesahiko Uchida's triumph in 1976.
The 27-year-old confirmed yesterday that he will compete at the Jan 17-20 event at the Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course.
The US$1 million (S$1.36 million) event is jointly sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) and the Asian Tour.
Ishikawa, who finished joint-16th last year, shot to fame in 2007, when he became the youngest winner on the Japanese circuit by winning the Munsingwear Open KSB Club.
By the end of 2008, he became the youngest player to reach the top 100 of the world rankings, and was also the youngest to crack the top 50 the following year.
A serious back injury in 2016, however, interrupted his career.
While he could not add to his 14 JGTO titles last year, he finished second at the Token Homemate Cup and had three other top-10 finishes.
In an earlier interview with The Straits Times, Ishikawa said he aims to win a Major title and taste success on the US PGA Tour in the next 10 years.
Among the elite field, world No. 26 Sergio Garcia will be back to defend his title.
The 2017 US Masters champion will be joined by others such as Ryder Cup-winning teammate Paul Casey, 54-year-old American great Davis Love III and 22-year-old Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Tickets for the SMBC Singapore Open are on sale via ApacTix.
Children below 12 enjoy free entry - a move aimed at encouraging more juniors to go and watch top golfing action.