Kyodo News is reporting that Japan's Ryo Ishikawa will play up to six tournaments in the U.S. in the run-up to the Masters, potentially an early-season boon to the PGA Tour, given his rising celebrity and world ranking. Already Japan's best player, Ishikawa, only 18, is ranked 30th in the world.
Last year, Ishikawa played three U.S. events prior to the Masters -- the Northern Trust Open, the Transitions Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
He no doubt will play the two World Golf Championship events (the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the WGC-CA Championship) and presumably would play the Northern Trust Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational again.
-- John Strege