Ryo Ishikawa, left, of Japan shakes hands with Tom Watson during the second round of the US Open on Friday.
Ryo Ishikawa, left, of Japan shakes hands with Tom Watson during the second round of the US Open on Friday.

Advice for Ishikawa, Japan's rising son

PEBBLE BEACH, California // If Ryo Ishikawa needed reassurance about his emerging golf career, he got it from none other than eight-time major winner Tom Watson. After playing together in the second round on Friday, the two stood in the scorer's trailer after coming off the 18th green at Pebble Beach and shared some friendly words.

Watson reached out for a handshake and wished the 18-year-old Japanese star well. "Tom said to me that I will have a good future," Ishikawa said. The stylish Ishikawa, who tends to wear bright clothes and a cheery expression, found himself among the leaders halfway through his US Open debut. Ishikawa followed his one-under opening round by shooting an even-par 71 on Friday for an impressive two-day score of 141. He was in a four-way tie for second with Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Dustin Johnson, two shots behind Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland.

Ishikawa hoped to ride that momentum right into a strong weekend. He has adjusted his shots for a tough course along the Pacific Coast that he said is nothing like the ocean-side links he plays back home. Ishikawa wore all pink on Thursday - a pink zip-up sweater, pink slacks and pink shoes. On Friday, he toned it down a tad with a cherry-red zip-up sweater and off-white pants. He is making the right kind of splash at Pebble, where even some of the best golfers in this bunch are splattering balls into the ocean or hitting off cliffs into the rocks or beach below. Davis Love III did it on the 18th tee on Friday, playing in the group ahead of Ishikawa.

Ishikawa birdied the par-three, 208-yard 17th that has been creating all kinds of problems for others in the field so far. "I like it. I like 17," Ishikawa said with a smile speaking perfect English, though he did receive help from Jumpei Kaneko, an interpreter, for other responses. "I hit a four-iron today and I couldn't see where the ball landed after the first bounce. It was just a lucky bounce. The putting was very straight. Straight, right in, so yesterday and today I was very lucky."

His game consists of much more than luck. Ishikawa turned pro in 2007 and has won seven titles on the Japan Tour. At The Crowns event last month in Togo, Japan, he shot a 12-under 58 for the lowest score ever on a major tour. He made 12 birdies in a bogey-free round on the 6,545-yard Nagoya Golf Club course. Ishikawa surprised even himself with that one. Now, everybody else is catching on to his potential. A newcomer no more.

"Ryo played fantastically," said Rory McIlroy, also in Ishikawa's threesome. "He made a lot of putts. If he can keep his short game the way it is, I can definitely see him competing this weekend." Ishikawa attracts the same kind of Japanese media crowd that follows famous baseball players such as Daisuke Matsuzaka or Hideki Matsui, but he handles the attention with the poise of someone well beyond his years.

Does he feel pressure on his sport's big stage? His motto is more about pushing himself to be the best he can be, rather than creating huge expectations this early in his career - or letting outside distractions derail his goals. "I don't know if it's the right word, but my feeling is go for it," Ishikawa said. "So, challenging is something to me, and especially in the tournaments outside Japan, it doesn't mean anything if I don't challenge things."

After struggling with his short game during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am here in February, Ishikawa went back to Japan and vowed to be better on Pebble's unforgiving greens when he returned. "And this week I'm doing great on putting," he said. Before he departed on Friday, Ishikawa quickly signed a ball and handed it to Watson's son and caddie, Michael. "I really appreciate it," Michael Watson said, reaching out his hand. "Keep up the good play."

It's hard not to like Ishikawa. He's fresh, real. Ishikawa said he hears and appreciates all the Japanese fans in the gallery and their cheers of "gambatte!" ? which translates as "Go for it!" or "Try your best!" "He's extraordinary," Ernie Els said. "He played in the Presidents Cup last year, and I really got to know him well there. He's a great kid. It's amazing that he's only 18. "He's already shot 58 this year. Just think about it, shooting 58 in the Tour over there in Japan at 18, it's phenomenal. He's a really good player, great kid. There's a lot of youngsters coming through. I think what Tiger has done, a lot of these kids want to do what he's done, so they come out early and they're aggressive and they're confident."

Ishikawa's plan: keep it up for another two days. "I hope I can play more aggressive tomorrow and the next two days," he said. "I hope I can focus on my golf, just on my golf."

* AP


Director: Lulu Wang

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sarayu Blue, Ji-young Yoo, Brian Tee, Jack Huston

Rating: 4/5

Sheer grandeur

The Owo building is 14 storeys high, seven of which are below ground, with the 30,000 square feet of amenities located subterranean, including a 16-seat private cinema, seven lounges, a gym, games room, treatment suites and bicycle storage.

A clear distinction between the residences and the Raffles hotel with the amenities operated separately.


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

All We Imagine as Light

Director: Payal Kapadia

Starring: Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam

Rating: 4/5


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded


Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599


Director: Michael Mann

Starring: Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey

Rating: 3/5

'Cheb Khaled'

Artist: Khaled
Label: Believe
Rating: 4/5


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The Africa Institute 101

Housed on the same site as the original Africa Hall, which first hosted an Arab-African Symposium in 1976, the newly renovated building will be home to a think tank and postgraduate studies hub (it will offer master’s and PhD programmes). The centre will focus on both the historical and contemporary links between Africa and the Gulf, and will serve as a meeting place for conferences, symposia, lectures, film screenings, plays, musical performances and more. In fact, today it is hosting a symposium – 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction that will look at the six decades of Frank Bowling’s career, as well as those of his contemporaries that invested social, cultural and personal meaning into abstraction. 

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5



yallacompare profile

Date of launch: 2014

Founder: Jon Richards, founder and chief executive; Samer Chebab, co-founder and chief operating officer, and Jonathan Rawlings, co-founder and chief financial officer

Based: Media City, Dubai 

Sector: Financial services

Size: 120 employees

Investors: 2014: $500,000 in a seed round led by Mulverhill Associates; 2015: $3m in Series A funding led by STC Ventures (managed by Iris Capital), Wamda and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; 2019: $8m in Series B funding with the same investors as Series A along with Precinct Partners, Saned and Argo Ventures (the VC arm of multinational insurer Argo Group)