Ishikawa earns Tour special temporary exemption


American golf fans can expect to see more of Ryo Ishikawa on the PGA Tour. After the 20-year-old finished second to George McNeill in the Puerto Rico Open, Ishikawa earned enough money to garner special temporary membership on the Tour.

The $378,000 check Ishikawa earned on Sunday was enough to push his season earnings beyond the top 150 on last year’s money list. With $582,471 in earnings this season, Ishikawa can now take unlimited sponsor exemptions through the end of the year.

Ishikawa would have to accept the temporary membership to do so and it seems likely.

“Need some time to think about it, but that's the direction I'll be aiming for,” he said.

If he earns another $85,695 this season – a top-20 finish at the Masters would suffice – then Ishikawa would have earned enough to be in the top 125 in money last season. That would afford him full membership for 2013.

The Japanese standout posted his best PGA Tour finish on the one-year anniversary of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which ravaged his homeland. Ishikawa paused for a moment of silence ahead of the round.

“Right now it’s still serious in Japan, but people are trying to recover,” he said. “But it is getting better, so I am going to try to win.”