Ishikawa Joins US PGA Tour

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Japan’s 20-year-old golf sensation Ryo Ishikawa has accepted special temporary membership on the US PGA Tour for the remainder of 2012 season, the tour announced.

Ishikawa’s runner-up showing at the Puerto Rico Open on 11 March gave him $582 471 in only six PGA starts, boosting him beyond the $411 943 he needed to qualify for an exemption to join the series for the rest of the year.

The move gives Ishikawa unlimited sponsor exemptions for 2012. Previously, as a non-tour member, he was limited to a maximum of seven sponsor exemptions and 12 PGA events.

While Ishikawa will not earn points toward the season-ending US PGA playoffs as a special member, he will have the chance to earn full membership for 2013 if his prize money total is among the top 125 players for the full 2012 season.

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Ishikawa, who missed the cut at last weekend’s Transitions Championship, will play in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill after earning eligibility by being among the top 50 in world rankings as of last week.

Ishikawa, who is ranked 50th this week, has accepted a special invitation to compete in next month’s Masters tournament, the year’s first major championship at famed Augusta National Golf Club.

—Adebobola Alawode

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