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Ishikawa gets special invite to the Masters

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Ryo Ishikawa received a special invitation to compete in the Masters, the tournament announced Tuesday. It is the second time the 20-year-old Japanese standout has received such an invitation (2009). 

Ishikawa, a nine-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, is playing this week on the PGA Tour at the Puerto Rico Open. Ranked No. 53 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Ishikawa was trying to crack the top 50 to qualify.

Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said the invitation continues the tradition of inviting foreign-born players to further the name recognition of the event abroad.

The club was also instrumental in the creation of the Asian Amateur Championship in 2009, which offers a Masters invitation to the winner. Hideki Matsuyama won in 2011 for the second consecutive year.

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