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    Ishikawa Accepts Special Invitation

    Ishikawa watches drive
    Scott K. Brown/Augusta National
    Masters participant Ryo Ishikawa of Japan follows his tee shot off No. 1 during the first round of the 2011 Masters Tournament.

    Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced today that Ryo Ishikawa has accepted a special invitation to compete in the 2012 Masters.

    A 20-year-old professional from Japan, Ishikawa has competed in the three previous Tournaments, his best finish coming last year when he tied for 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.”

    In his career, Ishikawa has accumulated nine victories, including his first as a 15-year-old amateur in 2007. His best PGA Tour finish came in 2011 when he tied for fourth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational that included a third-round 64 at Firestone Country Club. He has competed in the Presidents Cup twice (2009, 2011) and is presently ranked 53rd in the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Two opportunities still remain for others to qualify for an invitation to the 2012 Masters:

    • Win a PGA Tour event that awards a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship prior to the 2012 Tournament.
    • Finish in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the Masters.
    Ishikawa and caddies on Par 3
    Hunter Martin/Augusta National
    Ryo Ishikawa watches tee shot
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images