Japanese Teen Becomes Latest “New Tiger”

The concept of “the new Tiger Woods” in their various forms have been coming in thick and fast ever since …well, the real Tiger Woods appeared on the scene more than a decade ago.

We’ve had Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Michelle Wie and a host of others. The latest manifestation comes from Japan, and the Japanese are excited.

Teenage sensation Ryo Ishikawa turned professional this week and the Japanese media have gone crazy, and according to reports, the country’s golfing media have been screaming: “Bring on Tiger”.

The 16-year-old last year became the youngest winner on the JGTO men’s tour when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at the age of 15 years and eight months.

Since then, the Japanese media have built him up as the one to challenge Tiger on the global stage.

Before that, though, he has a more humble goal of rescuing the popularity of the declining pro tour in Japan.

The “Japanese Tiger” is seen as the man … er, I mean, boy, to reinvigorate corporate sponsorship in the tour.

However, Tiger and major glory is not far from his thoughts, as he was quoted by Reuters as saying:

“From now on golf will be my job. It’s a dream come true. I want to play against Tiger and win the US Masters.”

Like Wie when she turn pro, “Little Ryo”, as the media have dubbed him, has vowed to keep his studies going even though he is tipped to receive more than $30 million in endorsements.

Whether he will fall off the radar like Wie has done remains to be seen but certainly, the money he is set to earn can be an enormous burden on his young shoulders.

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