By Brian Wacker,
PGATOUR.COM Site Producer
Ryo Ishikawa played a practice
round with Hiroyuki Fujita at Augusta Monday.
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