Girl Problems for Ryo?
By Stephanie Wei under Presidents Cup

Tween troubles

Ryo Ishikawa arrived late for the Presidents Cup in Australia due to inclement weather and flight delays, giving him only one practice round to prepare for the biennial matches. International team captain Greg Norman didn’t anticipate Ryo having any problems by Thursday, saying “There’s absolutely no problem with Ryo himself.” But the 20-year-old Ishikawa might have distractions stemming from his personal life — the Japanese golfing superstar had planned to unveil his secret girlfriend to the world by bringing her to Melbourne, but it was nixed in light of rumors that she’s pregnant, according to Andrew Both’s report.

“He feels it would be too overwhelming for her to travel given the reaction to the news,” said a source who asked not to be identified.

“Apparently he has been swamped (by the media) since they found out.”

Rumours have been rampant on the Japan Tour recently that Ishikawa’s girlfriend is pregnant.

Ishikawa no doubt will be asked to confirm or deny them when he speaks to the media in Melbourne this week.

He is used to an astonishing level of scrutiny – more even than Tiger Woods – but the revelation last month that he has a steady girlfriend, believed to be a high school sweetheart, has caused a media frenzy.

It’s been no secret in golf circles for a couple of years, but Ishikawa has never introduced her publicly, and has declined to talk about the matter when questioned.

But his mother spilled the beans last month, issuing a statement that said: “There exists a woman whom Ryo Ishikawa is going out with.”

Given Ryo lives in a fishbowl, I’m more curious how he kept a girlfriend hidden from the Japanese paparazzi for several years — hell, just a week! I’m not sure if this is considered a huge scandal in Japan, so I’ll have to ask a colleague tomorrow, but in the U.S. I think hardly anyone would blink an eye. I mean, just another day in the life of the young, rich and fabulous, right? Well, Ryo is pretty darn fabulous.

Good news is he’s partners with Ernie Els, who is fond of team-bonding…at the bar. From Ryo’s presser:

Q. If you’re going to be Ernie’s partner, do you have to go to the bar with him and drink with him afterwards?

RYO ISHIKAWA: Well, this week, every night, I just do a lot of things late at night, so that’s part of it that is about The Presidents Cup.

Don’t forget — “let’s party like it’s 1998!” Which I’m sure was one hell of a celebration.