Ryo Ishikawa made his 2nd win at the Keya GC's special contest
7 players entered this short game battle at the 18th green. The task was simple who will get it closest to the pin from about 40 yards. The pin position was on the uphill lie, and to make a performance while surrounded by clapping and cheering spectator was another challenge.
First up was Rikuya Hoshino, who got it to 3.75 meters. Then, Jinichiro Kozuma got in inside to 3.13 meters. Long hitter Takahiro Tahaji showed his technique to get it to 2.70 meters. Ryuko Tokimatsu from local Fukuoka was out of contention as he got it to 3.95 meters. Satoshi Kodaira was at 3.02 meters. Then came the last year's Order of Merit Champion Shugo Imahira who got the closest so far to 2.57 meters. Finally, it was Ryo Ishikawa's turn.
"Shugo is really good, but I will beat him" said Ryo and he did as he predicted. He got the shot to 72 cm, and the crowds roared.
This was his second time to win the "short game contest". He won this 2 years ago, and that time he also went to win the tournament on Sunday afternoon. But Ryo's Round 3 wasn't coming out okay as he wished.
Ryo showed his talent by making 10-meter eagle putt on the 6th hole, but other than that, he didn't feel satisfy with the 3 under 69 score.
"My mind was clouded by the thoughts wanting to win too much. I got too aggressive and my game couldn't catch up with my feelings. I know that good score is followed by good play, but I kind of got too obsessed by the thought of wanting to win. I was too arrogant, I guess. Now I am 7 strokes behind. So, even I play great tomorrow, I don't know if I could win, it's up to how the other players do. But I will still try to do my best and want to assure the fans that it will be a great game tomorrow too."
Ryo also added that before the "short game contest" began, players talked that no matter who wins, the prize money was to be donated to Fukuoka Prefecture for rain disaster charity.