ISHIKAWA HOPING FOR MCILROY INSPIRATION

Japan’s teenage golf star Ryo Ishikawa has said that she is looking forward to the inspiration provided by Rory McIlroy. “I have come to know so well how big the gap is between me and the best in the world,” the 19-year-old told Japanese media Tuesday as he returned home from his second US Open where he finished tied for 30th.

He was 33rd last year, but remains a great shout for any free bets you have next year!

Ishikawa managed to shoot a four-under-par 68 on the final round for a total of 286 while the 22-year-old McIlroy broke away to a record-breaking victory at 16-under 268.

“He has inspired me much. I think all the young players around the world thought to themselves ‘Why can’t I?’,” Ishikawa said. “I want to reach that level some day.”

Ishikawa went to the US Open after missing the cut for two straight events on the Japanese tour. Worse still, at the airport before departure, he was forced to apologise for driving a car without a valid licence weeks earlier.

KAYMER PRAISES HARRINGTON INFLUENCE

Martin Kaymer has credited the influence of Padraig Harrington as a major reason for his improvement. Six of the current world’s top 10 are European and the last four majors have been won by European Tour members.

“He [Harrington] won two in 2008 – which was an unbelievable achievement – and I think everything started with him,” said Kaymer.

German Kaymer opened his major account at last year’s US PGA Championship.

That followed Graeme McDowell’s US Open win and Louis Oosthuizen’s Open Championship triumph, and the run of major successes for European Tour members was maintained by Charl Schwartzel’s Masters victory last month.

Amazingly, it was just a few years ago that Charl Schwartzel was still learning the game, and he was one of the first amateurs to use the golf handicap calculator to bring his game into line. How things can change in just a few years!