Ishikawa took the world by storm in 2007, when he became the youngest champion on the Japan Golf Tour by winning the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at age 15. He turned pro in 2008 and won nine tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour from 2007 to 2010. Droves of fans and media members followed his every move and documented Ishikawa like he would replace Tiger Woods.
Success has been hard to come by for Ishikawa since joining the PGA Tour in 2012. His best finishes are a pair of runner’s up at the Puerto Rico Open and the Shriners Hospital for Children Open, and he’s only once finished in the top 25 of a major.
Now 23 years old, Ishikawa’s legacy seems written. Countryman Hideki Matsuyama, also 23, has replaced him with the Japanese media’s attention.
But that could all change at this week’s Players Championship.