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April 4 2011

9:06 PM

Ishikawa, Matsuyama have lot on mind

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Ryo Ishikawa played a practice round with Hiroyuki Fujita at Augusta Monday.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer AUGUSTA, Ga. -- For being just 19 years old, Ryo Ishikawa showed a maturity well beyond his years last week when he announced that he would be donating all of his 2011 earnings to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in his native Japan. This week, Ishikawa will focus on the year’s first major with the hopes that it can, at least for a few hours, provide some escape for those in Japan, where he’s a star of enormous proportions. “I understand that many sports events in Japan are postponed or canceled because of the quake but at the same time I would like to emphasize the power and energy that sports can create for those people to encourage them,” Ishikawa said Monday. “This is my fourth year a a professional golfer and I was supported by many sponsors. Now it’s my turn to support those people who are in need.” Ishikawa was at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship when the quake hi and he found out that morning on the internet. While none of Ishikawa’s family members were killed -- they arrived in the U.S. last week -- he does know plenty of people in the disaster zone, most of which are apparently okay. Hideki Matsuyama, who earned a spot in the Masters field for his Asian Amateur win last year, isn’t as certain. His school is in Sendai, the nearest major city to where the quake hit, and he hasn’t been able to reach some of his friends. “I’ve seen it and it’s just indescribable,” Matsuyama said. “I just cannot -- I couldn’t believe the city I live in was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. It’s just beyond imagination.” Likewise, Matsuyama is playing with a lot on his mind this week. “I would like to do my best to provide the Japanese people encouragement,” he said. No matter what happens at this week’s Masters, he’ll provide plenty of that when he gets back to Sendai. Matsuyama says he plans to help with the relief effort once he does. WATCH INTERVIEWS: Matsuyama | Ishikawa
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