Ishikawa gets special invite to the Masters

Ryo Ishikawa of Japan accepted a special invitation to compete at this year's Masters.

Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters, confirmed the news on Tuesday.

"Historically, the Masters has invited international players not otherwise qualified to expand the tournament's global reach," Payne said. "Ryo Ishikawa is an accomplished player on the Japan Golf Tour, and we believe his presence will help increase interest not only in his home country, but also throughout Asia."

This year's Masters is scheduled for April 5-8, 2012.

Ishikawa has appeared in three Masters with his best finish a tie for 20th last year. He owns nine worldwide victories, but none on the PGA Tour.

There are still two chances to get an invitation to the field for those not already qualified: a PGA Tour win or finish in the top 50 in the world rankings the week prior to the event.