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Ishikawa, Wiratchant receive Masters invites

Ryo Ishikawa
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MARANA, AZ - MARCH 1: Paul Casey of England plays his approach shot on the eighth hole during the final round of Accenture Match Play Championships at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain March 1, 2009 in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)  - 

Ryo Ishikawa and Thaworn Wiratchant will both receive special invitations to play in The Masters this April, the tournament announced Friday.

'The Masters has long established a tradition of supporting the global game,' said Chairman Billy Payne in statement from the tournament. 'We were excited to extend invitations to Thaworn Wiratchant and Ryo Ishikawa, who we hope will provide added interest and enthusiasm for golf in Asia through their participation in the Tournament.'

This will mark the fifth consecutive appearance in the event for Ishikawa, and the third time he has received a special invitation from the tournament, reserved for international players not otherwise qualified. The 'Bashful Prince,' who recorded his 10th career Japan Tour victory in November, has made the cut only once in four previous Masters appearances, finishing tied for 20th in 2011. This year will mark the Japanese star's first full season as a PGA Tour member.

Wiratchant, from Thailand, was the top earner on the Asian Tour in 2012 and holds the record for most career Asian Tour victories with 15. This will be his first career appearance at Augusta National, and only the second career start in a major for the 46-year-old after finishing T-31 at the 2006 British Open.

The invitations for Ishikawa and Wiratchant increase the potential field for this year's event to 85 players. A full list of the players currently eligible for the season's first major can be seen here.