• The Masters

Ishikawa accepts latest Masters invite

ESPN staff
January 11, 2013
Ryo Ishikawa has received another invite to The Masters © PA Photos

Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa has accepted an invite to play in the Masters at Augusta National this year.

Ishikawa is one of two players to be offered invites to the storied, limited field major tournament - with Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant also granted entry into the April event as the organising committee strive to grow interest in the game and event in Asia.

Ishikawa, a hugely popular figure in his native country, will be playing in the Masters for the fifth successive year - with his highest finish a tie for 20th in 2011.

However, he missed the cut on his other three appearances.

"Through our established qualifications, and invitations to select international players not otherwise qualified, we historically bring together a collection of the world's top players, and this year is no different," Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National, said.

"The Masters has long established a tradition of supporting the global game, and 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."

The two invites bring the current field for the event up to 85 players. Tournament organisers generally prefer to keep the start list below 95, but there are still two ways players not currently qualified for the event can secure their place - by winning a full-point PGA Tour event prior to the tournament, or by being inside the top 50 in the world rankings in the week prior to the Masters.

Ishikawa, who has struggled to build on his promise in recent years, is currently ranked 75th in the world. Wiratchant is seven places above him in 68th.

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