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February 17, 2009

Ryo Ishikawa


RYO ISHIKAWA: Hello, America. I'm Ryo Ishikawa from Japan. First of all, I would like to thank Northern Trust Open for giving me this opportunity. It's like a dream.
The golf course is fantastic, and very challenging. I hope I can make the cut, but it is more important for me to play my golf throughout the week.
How you pronounce my name, it is Ryo. Everyone, repeat out of me, Ryo! (Laughter) That's it, okay, thank you. And I'm looking forward to Thursday. Thank you very much.

Q. I'm just wondering how you handle the attention, all of the cameras and the people, the paparazzi; how are you not overwhelmed by all this?
RYO ISHIKAWA: I don't really feel like I handle the bunch of media. I just go out and play golf.
I'm happy that all of the media from probably all over the world are here to report about me to the world. It's great for more golf fans to come to watch because of reporting this to the world.

Q. You've already become one of the biggest sporting celebrities in Japan. What's the best thing about being famous, and what's the worst thing about being famous?
RYO ISHIKAWA: The best thing is I get 20 more bucks in my wallet, but nothing so special.

Q. What classes are you taking right now in school?
RYO ISHIKAWA: Actually the school provides all of the curriculum to me, so I don't have any choice to select classes right now.
Next year I will have the chance to select some classes.

Q. I believe you played a practice round today with Chris DiMarco and J.J. Henry. How did that come about, and did they give you any advice or words of wisdom?
RYO ISHIKAWA: Both players are so kind to give advice like, you know, the pin positions last year or something like that. So every single hole, those two players gave me some advice.
I wanted to play the PGA TOUR since I was young, and it's kind of like a dream playing with those superstar players. So, it's like a dream.

Q. Just wanted to know if you've had a chance to meet Tiger Woods or have any conversations with him about his experiences as a young golfer with a lot of expectations and growing up with a lot of success early on.
RYO ISHIKAWA: I've never met Tiger before. Tiger came to Japan a couple of years ago, but I've never been to watch Tiger.
So I don't really feel -- I'm just concentrating on my golf right now, and I don't feel any difficulty or difference playing a practice round on the PGA TOUR. I'm just concentrating on my golf.

Q. Do you ever wear pants (bright yellow) like that on the golf course, and if so, does anybody ever find them distracting?
RYO ISHIKAWA: I have not actually worn colorful ware since a long time ago, but after turning professional, I can wear colorful shirts and pants, which motivate me very much for the tournament.

Q. In golf, you lose more tournaments than you win; there's so much interest from the media and the fans, especially in Japan, about your potential. Do you think it's unrealistic pressure, or do you like the challenges that are being heaped upon you?
RYO ISHIKAWA: I've been asked the same question, if I feel any pressure. But actually I haven't thought about pressure itself. At times I get nervous but I always try to be positive, rather than negative.
More fans come to watch and I'm more happy.

Q. Can you talk about anything that you would like to accomplish; have you thought about that?
RYO ISHIKAWA: My ultimate goal is to win the Masters. But to achieve that goal, I have set up small goals in each practice and hopefully I can get to the final goal.

End of FastScripts

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