US award Ryo special membership

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Ryo Ishikawa has qualified for special temporary membership of the PGA Tour for the rest of the 2012 season.

Ryo Ishikawa has qualified for and accepted special temporary membership of the PGA Tour for the rest of the 2012 season.

The 20-year-old Japanese star, who was runner-up at the recent Puerto Rico Open, has earned $582,471 from his six Tour starts this season.

He had required only $411,943 to qualify for a temporary exemption this year

This move also gives the crowd-pleasing Ishikawa unlimited sponsor exemptions for 2012 whereas he previously, as a non-tour member, was limited to a accepting a maximum of seven sponsor exemptions.

While Ishikawa will not earn Fed-Ex Cup points as a special member, he will have the chance to earn full membership for 2013 if his prize money total is at least equal or better than the top 125th professionals on Tour this year.

Currently the world No 50, will play in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and has accepted a special invitation to compete in next month’s Masters tournament at Augusta National.

To secure his PGA Tour card for next year he will probably have to earn around $700,000 in official PGA Tour events.

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