Friday, March 11, 2011

Can devastation in Japan create golf heroes at Doral?

After hearing that his family in Japan was okay, Ryo Ishikawa finished round one of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Doral Golf Course at 6-under par and only a single stroke off the lead ..."his best round on the PGA Tour by three strokes," as stated by

Ishikawa, unable to focus completely because of the tragedy in his homeland, still managed to fire off two birdies in his final six holes.

Although misfortune hit closer to home for Yuta Ikeda, he managed to finish his round with a 74. The only other Japanese golfer in the field, Hiroyuki Fujita has advanced into the second round with a 71.

The honor of being able represent Japan as competitive golfers, especially with the devastation of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake looming heavy in their minds, makes aspiring to PGA Tour status all the more appealing. Ishikawa stated that his position (as well as other athletes from Japan) is unique in that, "we can provide encouragement and hope for the people of Japan."

From national heroes to global emissaries, Ishikawa, Ikeda and Fujita are playing for more than just a golf trophy and FedEx points; they are helping to bring their people out of despair by using sport as a unifying agent to help heal a country damaged by the cruel hand of nature.

Golf for Beginners supports these golfers in their positive quest and prays for the safety of the people of Japan and Hawaii and all others devastated by this earthquake.

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