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|Relentlessly Stylish Ryo photo: callawayapparel.jp|
At first glance, age 22 would seem preposterously young to be talking about relaunching a career, but for some of today's professional golfers, the concept is not so far fetched. They take up the game as children and achieve early success; winning on increasingly important stages, collecting ever more impressive trophies and piling up precocity records.
Youthful achievers fascinate fans, and as a result they often inspire the proverbial "media frenzy", which brings with it the prospect of lucrative sponsorship deals.
But precipitous fame can be distracting, and a global golf career implies an exhausting travel schedule. Then comes the inevitable winless spell.
The stretch can last a year or two… or ten… it can come after multiple major wins or a handful of tournament victories, but either way, it's a burden for the player to bear. Once the long awaited win finally comes we hear the word relaunch… even when the player in question is implausibly young. This is certainly the case for one of our favorite golfers… a golfer we've written about on many occasions: Japan's Ryo Ishikawa.
As a 15 year old amateur… in his first tour appearance… he won the Munsingwear Open KSB and became the youngest ever to win on the Japanese Men's Tour. From there, his rise was meteoric; Ryo Ishikawa was soon being called Japan's Tiger Woods and hailed as the face of golf in Japan.
The ensuing years brought multiple wins on the Japan Tour, and in 2008 the newly christened Bashful Prince became the youngest player ever to reach the top 100 of the Official World Golf rankings, in 2009, the youngest ever to reach the top 50. MORE –>