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Ryo Ishikawa given special invite to Masters
Ryo Ishikawa no longer has to worry about trying to qualify for the Masters. The 20-year-old from Japan received a special invitation for the second time.

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

"Historically, the Masters has invited international players not otherwise qualified to expand the Tournament's global reach," Payne said in a press release.

"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.

In the last 10 years, the only player not from Asia to receive a special invitation to the Masters was Greg Norman in 2002.

Among those yet to qualify this year is Ernie Els of South Africa.

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