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Friday 20 April 2018

Ishikawa in rough after clumsy driving

JAPANESE golf prodigy Ryo Ishikawa was forced to apologise for some wayward driving today after reports he had been caught behind the wheel of a vehicle without a valid licence dented his squeaky-clean image.

The 19-year-old is a huge celebrity in Japan with numerous multi-million dollar endorsements, but he was left red-faced when he was found to have driven on an invalid international permit.

“I humbly apologise for the embarrassment that my carelessness and clumsiness caused,” Ishikawa said before leaving Japan for next week's US Open.

“I must be more vigilant and devote myself to golf.”

Ishikawa drove a car in Japan before the international permit he had obtained in the United States had become valid.

Japanese golf officials have criticised Ishikawa and said they would hold a meeting to discuss possible punishments after hearing from the player and his father Katsumi.

Meanwhile, David Mathis shot an opening-round 65 to take a one-stroke lead in the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee, on a slow day for world No2 Lee Westwood.

Mathis sits top of the leaderboard on five-under-par, with Westwood on oneunder for the day. Five players were tied for a share of second after rounds of 66.

Sweden's Robert Karlsson was the only non-American among the group, which included John Merrick, Kris Blanks, Kevin Kisner and Colt Knost. Spain's Sergio Garcia was poor throughout and signed for an eight-over 78.

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