sport

Ishikawa eyes US breakthrough

Ryo Ishikawa has set his sights on a first US win in 2013 after already tasting glory 10 times on the Japan Golf Tour.

The 21-year-old is already a superstar in his homeland, but admits he has underperformed away from home and in the United States in particular.

Still, Ishikawa says he feels no added pressure after choosing to become a full-time member of the PGA Tour for 2013.

Key to his chances, Ishikawa believes, is improving his putting and adding a bit more length to his drives.

"I want to hit my driver maybe five or 10 yards further than right now," Ishikawa told Reuters.

"And my short game is no good right now either," he added. "I need more hard practice. These two things are no good but my iron play right now is mostly good, I think.

"So I need more practice on my short game, and more length with my driving."

Asked what his aims are for his 2013 campaign, Ishikawa said: "I would like to win on the PGA Tour for the first time and I would like to keep my (U.S.) tour card for next year."

Ishikawa plans to split his time between his home tour and the U.S. circuit this year.

"I will play more events in the U.S. than before," he said.

"I want to play on the Japanese Tour as well but the main tour world in this here so I think I will play more events than last year, probably 20-25 events on the PGA Tour."

Ishikawa is a major celebrity in Japan, but denied that the glare of the media spotlight in his home country was a burden.

"There is no pressure for me," he said. "I am relaxing right now and staying focused on my game.

"It's good news for me and for Japanese golf that they have invited me to the Masters so I am still working hard and practising hard.

"Hopefully my play over the next three months on the PGA Tour will be better and then I will go back to Japan to play several events there before coming back here."

Ishikawa will make his fifth consecutive start at Augusta National in April.