Ishikawa accepts special invitation to Masters
06 Mar 2012 - 21:16:52
Japanese 20-year-old golf prodigy Ryo Ishikawa has accepted a special invitation into next month's Masters tournament, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne said on Tuesday.
Ishikawa, who will make his fourth Masters start, also received a special invitation to play in the 2009 Masters, when he became the second-youngest player in Masters history at age 17.
Ishikawa's best finish at Augusta National came last year when he shared 20th.
"Historically, the Masters has invited international players not otherwise qualified to expand the tournament's global reach," Payne said.
"Ryo Ishikawa is an accomplished player on the Japan Golf Tour and we believe his presence will help increase interest not only in his home country, but also throughout Asia."
Ishikawa, ranked 53rd, is a nine-time winner on the Japan Tour, having taken his first triumph at age 15 as an amateur in 2007. His best US PGA showing was joint fourth at last year's World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.
Players can still qualify for the Masters by finishing in the top 50 in the world rankings in the week prior to the Masters or winning upcoming PGA events in Florida or Houston before the Masters tees off on April 5.