Ryo Ishikawa hangs on with 4 shots behind Tiger Woods on Round 1
"I was thankful that so many stayed to see us play too."
On the starting 10th tee box, the crowd was bunched up to see Tiger's tee shot.
"I thought everybody will move along with Tiger and nobody will be left. Since you'll get to see Ryo Ishikawa some other time. If I were the spectator, I will follow Tiger. But so many cheered for me too, not so different from Tiger's. I am really thankful."
Total number of spectators for today was 18536, best ever since 2010 Chunichi Crowns (13252).
"Some say that golf fans are decreasing, but I am so glad to see this much of fans got interested and came to the first ever US PGA and Japan Tour co-sanctioned event. I could really feel the excitement among the fans."
As same as most of the fans, Ryo himself was taking a peek at Tiger's play in front group.
"I was watching him play from behind as one of the fan. I just couldn't believe that he started out with 3 bogeys in a row but was back at 1 under suddenly. I couldn't figure out how he has done it. Then he went on to score 6 under. I had goose bumps seeing him do miraculous shots. I really want to thank him that he chose to come to Japan for us."
Ryo himself played hard to hang on, as he made around 2-meter par saving putts on 2,3,5 and 6 and finished with bogey free round. He could only make 2 birdies, but he is still 4 shots behind Tiger.
"Tiger has been on the top of the world for 20 plus years. I don't consider myself to be his rival, but I would like to choose wise and concentrate on my game. Tiger nor any other player is not the matter, it is up to my game."