Ryo Ishikawa is headed to the PGA TOUR for the remainder of the 2012 season.
The Japanese star has accepted Special Temporary Membership, which gives him unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the 2012 season. Non-members are allowed a maximum of seven sponsor exemptions and can play a maximum of 12 PGA TOUR events. Special Temporary Members are not eligible to receive FedExCup points.
Ishikawa is playing this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, eligible through his top 50 status in the Official World Golf Ranking through March 12. He missed the cut in last week's Transitions Championship.
In just six starts, Ishikawa has earned $582,471, including a runner-up finish at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com, where he surpassed the $411,943 (No. 150 on 2011 money list/Jason Bohn) needed for Special Temporary Membership.
Ishikawa has the opportunity to join the PGA TOUR as a Regular Member for the 2013 season should his World Golf Championship money and official prize money equal or exceed 125th place on the 2012 official PGA TOUR Money List.
The tee times for the first round of this week’s The Transitions Championships have been released. CLICK HERE for the tee times. Use the space below to comment about the pairings at the Copperhead Course.
Here’s a look at some of the notable groups in the first two rounds:
Zach Johnson/Geoff Ogilvy/Padraig Harrington, 8:27 a.m.,
How strong is the field this week? This three major champions are among 17 that showed up.
John Huh/David Toms/Jonathan Byrd, 8:37 a.m., No. 1
Rookie John Huh finds himself in an "A" pairing after his win last month at the Mayakoba Classic.
Luke Donald/Justin Rose/K.J. Choi, 1:33 p.m, No. 1
The world No. 2 (Donald) tees it up with last week's winner (Rose) and a two-time winner here (Choi).
Bud Cauley/Ryo Ishikawa/Tom Lewis, 2:04 p.m., No. 1
The oldest player in this group, Cauley, is all of 21 years old (in all fairness, he turns 22 on Friday). Lewis, who turned pro after last year's British Open, makes his U.S. debut.
Gary Woodland/Webb Simpson/Scott Stallings, 1:22 p.m., No.
This trio finished 1-2-3 last year at Copperhead. Stallings is making his return to the TOUR after missing four weeks with an injury.
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the Transitions Championship below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUPS
|Gary Woodland vs. Webb Simpson||Woodland handed Simpson a tough loss at Copperhead last year|
|Justin Rose vs. Luke Donald||Rose working on a season like the one Donald authored in 2011|
|Brandt Snedeker vs. Jhonattan Vegas||It's Vanderbilt (Snedeker) against Texas (Vegas) at Copperhead|
|Ryo Ishikawa vs. K.J. Choi||Asia's top young player takes on Asia's best over-40 player|
|Angel Cabrera vs. Zach Johnson||Two former Masters champions on road to Augusta National|
Japan's Ryo Ishikawa starts the final round of the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com only three shots off the lead, but he has last year's tsunami on his mind.
It's one year to the day since a devastating earthquake -- and the resulting tsunami -- wreaked havoc on his homeland. Ishikawa went on to donate his 2011 earnings to relief efforts.
On the one-year anniversary, Ishikawa, 20, will wear a black ribbon in the final round at Trump International. He will also observe a moment of silence on the first tee.
Ryo Ishikawa came to Puerto Rico to try and improve his world ranking in hopes of qualifying for the Masters.
The 20-year-old from Japan learned on Tuesday he had been extended a special invitational to play at Augusta National, though. So now Ishikawa just has a golf tournament to win.
Ishikawa will start the third round of the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com in a tie for third, four strokes off the pace being set by Aussie Matt Jones. Ishikawa shot 67 on Friday and is 7 under for the tournament.
"Short game today was very good, and approach shots and putting," Ishikawa said. "Everything went well. That resulted in birdies and some nice par saves. So the short game was the key thing."
Ishikawa is making his first appearance at Trump National. A year ago he played in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship but now that he has slipped out of the top 50 in the world -- Ishikawa currently ranks 53rd -- those events, as well as the Masters, can’t be taken for granted.
Ishikawa, a nine-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, says gesture from the Masters hasn’t changed his outlook, though.
"It is, of course, a relief that I got the invitation from the
Masters committee, but when I play a tournament, I concentrate on
the tournament," Ishikawa said. "So I don't think about anything
"So there are two aspects, yes, I feel relieved, but when I play a tournament, I will play to win the tournament."
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- The first time Ryo Ishikawa played at Torrey Pines, he was 15 years old.
The Japanese phenom -- who had already won as an amateur on the Japan Tour -- had come to the United States to play in the Callaway Junior Worlds. He shot 12 over and finished 17 shots behind the winner, Dylan Fritelli, a South African who is now a senior at the University of Texas.
The media attention, even then, was huge. He told Marc Figueroa of the North County Times prior to the tournament that "I can't go to the shopping mall like I usually do. That's a big thing for me because I like to shop." More than 70 members of the media followed Ishikawa's Monday practice round that week.
Two years later, when he made his PGA TOUR debut at the Northern Trust Open, several hundred Japanese reporters and photographers were on hand to chronicle his exploits that week. Ishikawa, who has won nine times on the Japan Tour, ended up missing the cut at Riviera in 2009.
Ishikawa has gone on to play in 27 TOUR events and has posted two top-10s -- a tie for fourth at last year's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and a tie for ninth at the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010.
Interestingly, though, the buzz appears to have died down a little as less than 20 Japanese media requested credentials for the Farmers Insurance Open this year. But Ishikawa is playing extremely well -- he's currently 3 under through 14 holes on the South Course and at 9 under, one stroke out of a six-way tie for eighth.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Ryo Ishikawa made short work of Bubba Watson on Sunday to earn the first point for the International Team.,
When the 20-year-old from Japan finished off his 3 and 2 victory, Greg Norman's squad led in five other matches, including the first four. The International Team needs eight Singles wins for a tie and nine to win.
Watson actually won the first hole with a birdie but Ishikawa answered with a birdie of his own at the next to square the match. The Japanese pro then won three of the next four holes with a bogey, a par and a birdie to go 3 up.
Ishikawa double bogeyed the eighth hole to give one back but immediately got that back at the ninth when Watson made a bogey. He rolled in a 12-footer at No. 13 for another win and coasted home.
Watson did win the 15th hole when he two-putted for birdie from 43 feet on the par 5. But it was a case of too little, too late and a pair of bogeys at No. 16 sealed the International win.
Ishikawa, who was a late arrival at Royal Melbourne, has now played in two Presidents Cups and won both his Singles matches. He went 1-2 in the team matches, partnering with Ernie Els.
MELBOURNE, Australia – Ryo Ishikawa, the 20-year-old star from Japan, was the last player to arrive into Melbourne. His plane was due to land on Tuesday afternoon in Australia.
“Unfortunately, it is what it is,” International captain Greg Norman said when asked about Ishikawa. “You’ve got to expect the unexpected.”
Because of his late arrival, Ishikawa will not have the preparation time at Royal Melbourne as the others playing in this week’s Presidents Cup. But fortunately, he’ll be able to call upon the course knowledge that Norman and the other Australians on the team possess.
“The great part about Ryo is he's young,” Norman said. “He can survive the jet‑lag and survive an overnight flight and get in here. He's a good enough player, he'll have enough information coming his way tomorrow about the golf course. So I'm not concerned about it.
“Obviously we would like to have as a team unit everybody together and being engaged from today onwards, but, hey, it is what it is, and you just adapt to it.”
Said teammate Adam Scott: “That’s obviously not ideal preparation for him, but you know, he’s a very good golfer, so hopefully he can take a lot in tomorrow.”
Ishikawa played last week at the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters on the Japan Tour, where he finished tied for eighth. He made his first Presidents Cup appearance two years ago as a teenager and produced a 3-2-0 record, including a singles win over Kenny Perry.