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Ishikawa struggles in opening round of Palmer Invitational

Kyodo

Ryo Ishikawa got off to a lackluster start with a 6-over-par 76 in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday.

Playing in his third tournament on the U.S. PGA Tour, Ishikawa opened his round with a birdie but hit a water hazard en route to a quadruple bogey on the par-5 sixth hole at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

The 17-year-old schoolboy struggled with further bogeys on Nos. 8, 12 and 15 and tied for 102nd place.

Tiger Woods was in a tie for 10th after a 68, three shots adrift of early pacesetter Jason Gore, while Ishikawa’s countryman Ryuji Imada had a 70 and shared 22nd.

“Apart from the sixth hole I think I can be satisfied with today’s score,” said Ishikawa. “I think this is my best round since making major changes to my swing. I’ve just got to aim to make the cut tomorrow.”

Imada, meanwhile, said he was pleased with his overall performance after an up-and-down round that included five birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey.

“I made a double bogey on the fourth hole but I also played some good golf. I was able to hit most of the fairways with my drives in strong winds so overall I’m pleased,” said Imada.

Ishikawa is looking to improve on last week’s 71st-place finish at the Transitions Championship. He made his debut on golf’s toughest circuit at the Northern Trust Open in February after receiving a Commissioner’s foreign exemption, but missed the cut by three strokes.