Ishikawa spoke recently of his experiences in America having recently embarked on a 5 tournament stint on the PGA Tour, where he deliberately took the opportunity to take himself even further out of his comfort zone. Ishikawa took the unique step of hiring a different local caddy for each tournament to challenge amongst other things his developing English. ‘I asked a local person familiar with the course to caddy for me (each week). This reminded me of the importance of communicating and constantly checking with people.’ he said.
Over this period, Ishikawa commented on the increased standards of precision that the American caddies demanded of him. ‘(They) made various requests depending on the course situation. They would tell me to hit a "draw" here or a "fade" there, and I followed their suggestions. The fact that I was able to hit ideal, low-risk shots suitable for each course is proof that my playing skills have improved.’
He has also come to the realisation that his golf game is good enough to compete on Tour. ‘I have to compete on the global stage in the future giving up 10 yards or more to longer hitters. That means I will be playing a different kind of golf compared with American golfers such as Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.’ he conceded. ’This year, I was finally able to realize that.’
In 2013 a 2nd place on the PGA Tour at the Puerto Rico Open was a huge boost to Ishikawa’s confidence and this latest US stint featured a 9th place finish in elite company at The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, where Ishikawa will be hoping to return as part of The International team for the Presidents Cup in September 2013. Although disappointed with his final round 73 at Muirfield Village, the result was important as it took his earnings for the year to over $763,000 and virtually assuring a Top 125 finish for a full PGA Tour card in 2013. ($668,166 was good enough for 125th place in 2011).