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Ishikawa shifts focus to next season, securing PGA Tour card

Kyodo

Ryo Ishikawa said Wednesday that winning the season-ending Wyndham Championship is not a realistic season-ending goal.

Instead, he simply wants to prepare to battle his way back to the PGA Tour.

A day before the start of the regular-season finale, Ishikawa, a 14-time winner on the Japanese tour who has missed the cut in nine of his last 10 tournaments, played a practice round with Hiroshi Iwata at the Sedgefield Country Club.

“I’m in good shape. I want to play aggressive golf that I’ll be satisfied with,” he said.

The 25-year-old, who is currently 175th on the Official World Golf Rankings, needs to place second or higher in North Carolina to rank among the top 125 players in FedEx Cup points. Anyone outside of the top 125 does not receive an automatic PGA Tour card for the 2018 season.

Players who finish between 126 and 200 on the points list at the conclusion of the season are eligible to play in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals series, where an additional 25 cards will be awarded to the leading money winners, and this is where Ishikawa’s focus lies.

“I’m aiming for the Web.com Tour Finals. This week’s event will be my final tune-up for that,” Ishikawa said.

The Web.com series takes place between late August and October and consists of stops in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Boise, Idaho; and Atlanta Beach, Florida.

Watching Hideki Matsuyama come close to his first major victory at the PGA Championship last weekend motivated Ishikawa to step up his game.

“There are players who get 20 birdies in four days on a tough course like that (at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina). It’s amazing, but that’s what I have to shoot for,” he said.

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