March 9 2012
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."