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Page last updated at 23:50 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Teenager receives Masters invite

Ryo Ishikawa
Ishikawa is nicknamed the Bashful Prince

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa is set to become the second-youngest player at the US Masters after receiving an invitation.

The 17-year-old will be the youngest at Augusta since Tommy Jacobs appeared as an amateur in 1952 at 17 years, one month and 21 days.

"At a young age, Ishikawa has shown the skill and competitiveness to make him a deserving recipient of this invite," club chairman Billy Payne said.

The Masters, won by Trevor Immelman in 2008, takes place between 9-12 April.

Augusta National awarded Ishikawa the invitation it sets aside for international players.

It is an award that has gone to Asian-born players every year since 2003, when no such exemption was offered. Greg Norman was the last player outside of Asia to receive the special foreign invitation in 2002.


Ishikawa, the youngest player to break the top 100 in the world rankings, already was at number 60 and might have been able to qualify on his own depending on his results over the next two months.

He made history two years ago when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup on the Japan Tour, becoming the youngest player to win on one of the six major tours around the world, before turning pro last year.

The size of the Augusta field is now 89, with Davis Love III, David Toms and J.B. Holmes, the only player from the Ryder Cup still not eligible for the Masters, still trying to qualify.

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