TAMPA, Fla. – Teenager Ryo Ishikawa had a nightmare front nine and carded a 4-over-par 75 to plunge into a tie for 64th after the third round of the Transitions Championship on Saturday.
Ishikawa, who on Friday became the youngest Japanese and the fifth-youngest player to make the cut on the U.S. PGA circuit, bogeyed four of his first six holes and things went from bad to worse when he double bogeyed the ninth.
However, the 17-year-old regrouped after the turn and birdied the 11th, 14th and 17th holes before closing with a bogey on the last for a 54-hole total of 4-over 217.
“It was very much a round of two halves but I think I was able to keep my focus on the back nine and I guess today was OK,” said Ishikawa.
“In the final round I want to excite the gallery by making lots of shots like I made on the 17th,” added Ishikawa, referring to his long-range birdie putt.
Ishikawa’s countryman Ryuji Imada had two birdies against four bogeys in a 73 and was in a share of 60th on 3-over. American Tom Lehman had a 68 and was one shot clear of Retief Goosen on 205 at the top of the leader board.
Ishikawa 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.
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