PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — He's a teenager with a huge following — literally.
Wherever Japan's Ryo Ishikawa goes, a media contingent of about 40 follows.
"I've played with him in Japan and it's even worse over there," said Rory McIlroy, who watched Ishikawa shoot 70-71 to put himself in contention at the U.S. Open. "He handles it very, very well. That's probably the most impressive thing about him — apart from how he plays golf."
Ishikawa, who stands 5 feet 7, 140 pounds and won't turn 19 until September, shot a 12-under 58 last month to win his seventh Japan Tour title. But he remains humble enough to have been touched when playing partner Tom Watson told him: "You have a good future."
So award a birdie to Ishikawa, who, when asked if the word "pressure" exists in his Japanese vocabulary, replied: "I don't know if it's the right word. But my feeling is: Go for it."
Bogey: Aaron Baddeley. He hasn't been the same player since leading the 2008 Open at Oakmont after Saturday (and making triple-bogey to start Sunday's round). Baddeley hit just 19 of 36 greens at Pebble Beach and shot 80-77.
Birdie: Erik Compton. If anybody deserves a pat on the back after shooting 77-81, it's Compton, the 30-year-old Floridian who has endured two heart transplants.
"I'm steaming with emotions because nothing went well," he said. "But what I can take from the week is that I feel very strong. I could walk another 18 right now."
Compton actually did flash a smile after noting that this was his first missed cut in five PGA Tour events this season.
"I have my family around," he said. "Now we have to find something to do over the weekend."
Bogey: John Rollins. The Virginian played his first 16 holes in 2 under. And his last 20 holes in 11 over.
Birdie: Paul Casey. He made a triple-bogey 8 on No. 14 by hitting one chip that rolled to his feet and another that settled on the back fringe. But he remained in contention by playing his final 13 holes in 1-under par.