Earlier this month, 27-year-old Ryo Ishikawa won his first professional golf tournament in nearly three years.
There’s an unsettling amount of questions to unpack from such a short sentence. Yes, this is the same Ishikawa who, once upon a time, became the youngest player to win a Japan Golf Tour event, as well as the youngest to reach the top 50 in the world. He attained pop-star status in his native Japan and earned the nickname “Bashful Prince” before ever playing in a major championship. He earned a special invitation to the Masters at age 17 and shot a final-round 58 to win on the Japan Tour at 18. He collected nine professional victories in his homeland and made two Presidents Cup teams during his career’s infancy.
During a lull in star power in the men’s game, Ishikawa looked poised to be an international icon.
A decade later, even the most avid golf fans would have trouble guessing Ishikawa’s age, a sign of how much attention he received early in his career. And few golf fans outside of Japan would know where the can’t...
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