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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa focuses on game after earthquake, tsunami

By Cindy Boren

Ryo Ishikawa rose early and flipped on his computer as he prepared to finish his storm-delayed first round at the World Golf Championships this morning in Doral, Fla.

Ishikawa, 19, learned of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in his homeland, checked on the safety of family and friends and then finished at 7-under 65, good enough for second place, one shot back of Hunter Mahan heading into the second round later today.

"It is not possible to block something of this magnitude out completely," he told CBS's Steve Elling through a translator. "But I understand that in the position that I am, together with the other star athletes from Japan and other sporting areas, we can provide encouragement and hope for the people of Japan by doing the job."

Ishikawa's parents live roughly 250 miles from the quake's epicenter. "I'm very much relieved that I was able to communicate with my family and they are fine," he said. " ... It is beyond being a distraction for me. I try to focus, but it is a battle out there for me."

Elling reports that Japan's Yuta Ikeda has been unable to reach friends in the area where damage is the worst and was too upset to speak with reporters after finishing his round Friday morning.

By Cindy Boren  | March 11, 2011; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Golf  
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