Why I Love Ryo Ishikawa
I like to consider myself to be a fairly considerate and generous person. I give money to charity, I’ll promote if I find one that I can appeal to, all that stuff. And I’m sure most of you do the same, especially around the time of the big television appeals like Children in Need and Comic Relief. In short, it is good for all parties.
But would you consider donating everything you earn in a year to charity?
That is what Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa is planning on doing this year. After the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami’s in his homeland, Ishikawa is planning on donating everything he earns on the Japan Golf Tour to help Japan recover after the devastation.
And after this, I have nothing but absolute respect for the golfer. He isn’t some average golfer who sometimes makes the cut and sometimes misses it, he’s good, pretty damn good. Ishikawa has already won nine Japan Golf Tour events, his first coming in 2007 at the age of 15. You can find him 45th on the Official Golf Rankings, just behind the likes of Ross Fisher and Anthony Kim. He even rounded the Wago Course in Japan in a 58. Yes, 58. 12-under par to win The Crowns by five shots.
The kid has talent, and as I just said, still very young. While some golfers start showing potential in their late 20s and early 30s, Ishikawa is only 19. To be donating everything you earn at that age is a remarkable thing, considering the price is expected to be £1.5 million.
And it shows a rare act of severe sporting donations, while many often earn a lot more than Ishikawa will this year, they at best won’t follow up his generosity. Back in 2007, the last major charitable thing in football that I can recall was the Mayday for Nurses, an appeal which asked every single Premier League player to give up their wages for just one day. Only one day, it was a well publicised appeal, but only 50% pledged to do so, 50% of those actually followed up on the pledge. In the end £200,000 was raised, but you do wonder if it could have been more.
It is unwise to compare football and golf. But the mark between the charitable personalities can be massive, a whole year for Ishikawa and he will not make a single penny, yet 75% of Premier League footballers couldn’t bare losing one days pay, even when the majority of time that is more than an average person living in the UK. Oh no.
But it is great for Ryo Ishikawa to be doing this, he says that it will help him do better, and I do agree, he isn’t just doing it for him anymore, each place, each birdie, helps him pocket that little more to help his home country through this tough time.
Go on Ishikawa, I hope you win everything this year.