Ryo Ishikawa gets another Masters invitation


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It will be the fifth straight year the 21-year-old Ishikawa is playing the Masters. This is his third special exemption.

Sounds like he is not good enough. Too bad.

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Ishikawa has really benefitted from the overwhelming hype generated from his sponsors in Japan. He was supposed to be the next Tiger Woods, but now he's getting exemptions better used on more qualified golfers.

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Both of you are right. The Masters are live on TV in Japan and by having him at The Masters they will bring in viewers who normally don't watch golf. He's all that Japan has right now. He gets by on his youth and charm and that is all.

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Agree with all of you. Sponsorship money drives everything. Very few of these guys like Ishikawa, Nishikori and most of the MLB players have done anything great outside of Japan. Hype doesn't make for good stats or win championships.

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Liek most Japanese males sportsmen, he's a big fish in a small pond and an insignificent minnow on the international scene.

It's the Japanese way... Big In Japan....

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He is No. 75 in the world.

Far cry from his stated desire to be competing with the likes of Tiger and Rory for Number 1. Hope he has a good 2013.

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In the 2012 Masters there were 97 competitors. Given that Ishikawa is ranked 75 in the world and the Masters is one of the major tournaments it would be a news story if he wasn't invited.

He's in because he's good enough. Not because he's Japanese and not because of his sponsors.

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The special exemptions, however, typically go to players who are not PGA Tour members, and the Masters looks mainly at Asian players because of its television contracts and the rapid growth and interest in golf in the region. That’s why it helped to create the Asia Pacific Amateur, with the winner getting a spot in the Masters. This year, the winner was Guan Tianlang, a 14-year-old from China, who will be the youngest player in Masters history.

Heda_Madness - Even the story states the obvious. Asian players come with Asian money.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Less sponsorship spam, more playing golf! Seriously...

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yep sadly the invites have more to do with exposure/money that he brings from the Japanese fans than his actual talent. sure hes a good golfer IN JAPAN, but it a mighty big step up to win in the US & Europe.

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Sponsorship has nothing to do with his exemption to the Masters since they only have 3 sponsors (IBM, AT&T, Exxon). You all need to get off your high horse of who "deserves" to be there, particularly as it relates to the Masters Tournament, which has more or less operated independent of the PGA since its inception. After all, this is the tournament that basically gives its winners a lifetime exemption, even if they aren't tour exempt.

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kurobikari - You forgot CBS, which televises the Masters and then sells their feed to the likes of, you guessed it, golf-mad Thailand and Japan. Maybe thats why Ishikawa and Thaworn Wiratchant, got their invites, yeah?

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hoserfella -- The Masters is the rare tournament where sponsorship and broadcast fees have little or nothing to do with who gets in or out of the tournament. In fact, that is exactly why Augusta Nat'l is able to exercise so much control over the content of the broadcast--so much so that many have claimed that they are guilty of censorship (e.g., the Martha Burk protests). If the Masters is guilty of anything, it's being an old boys' club.****

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cracaphat - read the story again, please. The issue is exemptions for deserving professional golfers, not weekend duffers on JT and whether they'd like to play in the Masters.

Good lord...

kurobikari - Ill direct you to this part of the story again;

The special exemptions, however, typically go to players who are not PGA Tour members, and the Masters looks mainly at Asian players because of its television contracts and the rapid growth and interest in golf in the region.

nuff said.

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I'm not exactly sure how that proves your point. If your point is that CBS had the pull to get exemptions for Ishikawa and Wiratchant, then I would beg to differ. In fact, CBS doesn't even own the worldwide rights for the Masters, which I believe is held by ESPN outside of Europe and Canada. That said, if your point is that Ishikawa and Wiratchant don't deserve to be there, then my answer is "Why not?" But why stop there, do the US and British Amateur champions deserve to be there? How about the US Mid Am or Public Links champion? What about former champions like Larry Mize or Tommy Aaron?

Augusta Nat'l more or less writes its own rules when it comes to the tournament. I'm not going to single out Ishikawa and Wiratchant when it comes to how they use their special exemptions when they are plenty of other reasons to complain about the field.

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