Ishikawa accepts temporary membership


Ryo Ishikawa has accepted special temporary membership on the PGA Tour.

With $582,471 in earnings this season, Ishikawa has earned enough money to pass No. 150 on the 2011 PGA Tour money list. Finishing a career-best second place at the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago, Ishikawa netted $378,000 and passed the necessary threshold by $170,528.

PGA Tour non-members, such as Ishikawa, can play a total of a dozen PGA Tour-sanctioned events each year. By accepting the special membership, Ishikawa can add six other events to his PGA Tour schedule, either with extra sponsor exemptions or by earning a place in the field as he did this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Non-members who do not have Ishikawa's status can play a dozen events, as well, but are limited to seven sponsor exemptions.

In Ishikawa’s case, he can add the Masters as a 13th event because he is in the field through a special invitation from Augusta National.

The special membership does not allow Ishikawa to earn official money or accumulate FedEx Cup points. His earnings will be kept on a separate money list for PGA Tour non-members.

The 20-year-old Japanese superstar can earn full PGA Tour membership for the 2013 season if his 2012 earnings would put him inside the top 125 on this season’s money list. Last season, D.J. Trahan finished at No. 125 on the money list with $668,166 in earnings. Currently, Ishikawa would rank 38th on the 2012 money list.

If Ishikawa fails to crack the top 125 but remains in the top 150 for 2012, he will be exempt to the final stage of Q-School.