Notebook: Ryo Ishikawa wins at just the right time to get into British Open

Ryo Ishikawa
Getty Images
Ryo Ishikawa won last week on the Japan Golf Tour for the first time in 20 months.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 | 5:23 p.m.
Ryo Ishikawa won last week on the Japan Golf Tour for the first time in 20 months, and timing could not have been better. 
 
By defeating Koumei Oda in a playoff, Ishikawa moved up to No. 76 in the world ranking. 
 
The ranking this week is used as the alternate list for the British Open, and when Steve Stricker withdrew Tuesday, Ishikawa took his spot at Royal Liverpool. 
 
Ross Fisher is the next alternate, followed by David Hearn of Canada, Daniel Summerhays and Seung-yul Noh of South Korea. 
 
LEHMAN & SONS: Tom Lehman has played the British Open every year since winning in 1996 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. That streak ends this year so Lehman can spend time with his family – specifically his two sons, and he'll be plenty involved with golf. 
 
Lehman's two sons, Thomas and Sean, are both playing competitive golf this summer and have two tournaments during the British Open at Hoylake and the Senior British Open in Wales. Lehman has withdrawn from both championships to support his sons in their tournaments. 
 
OPEN PRIZE MONEY: The British Open will have the largest purse in major championship history, a record that will last for all of three weeks. 
 
Part of that is because of a strong exchange rate in the UK, which currently is about $1.71 per British sterling. 
 
The Open has increased its prize fund to 5.4 million pounds, which is about $9.24 million and nearly $250,000 higher than the U.S. Open and Masters this year ($9 million each). That will be topped at the PGA Championship, which this year features a $10 million purse. 
 
The winner of The Open will receive 975,000, or about $1.67 million. 
 
DIVOTS: Baltusrol has been selected to host the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2018, the 16th time the New Jersey course will have staged a USGA championship. That matches the second-highest number of USGA championships by any club. Merion has hosted 18 USGA events. Baltusrol, The Country Club and Oakmont are next at 16. Oakmont gets its 16th when its hosts the U.S. Open in 2016. ... The R&A has appointed Mark Lawrie as its director in Latin America, where he will be involved with the Latin America Amateur Championship. He previously was head of the Argentina Golf Association. The Latin America Amateur is run by the R&A, Augusta National and the USGA. ... Brendon Todd has five top 10s in his last six tournaments, starting with his win at the Bryon Nelson Championship. The exception was a tie for 17th in the U.S. Open. 
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: The last three British Open champions played in the Scottish Open the previous week. 
 
FINAL WORD: "I felt like a doughnut fresh out of the fryer, rolling around in the sugar." – Michelle Wie, on winning the U.S. Women's Open.