Ryo Ishikawa hopes to play in the Masters this year. In order to qualify for the Masters, Ishikawa will have to be ranked 50th. He has until the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in late March to achieve this.
I think he can.
Ryo Ishikawa’s Ability
Ryo Ishikawa has the skill to be in the Masters. He is currently ranked first among Japanese golfers by the Official World Golf Rankings and has been 48th overall. After failing to make the cut at Waialae, his ranking dropped out of Master’s contention.
Ryo Ishikawa’s Schedule
Ryo Ishikawa has a long road ahead of him. He hopes to play in 34 tournaments during 2012–and has already begun. Never before has Ishikawa started his season so early. In my mind, we should be asking if he can finish this schedule, not if he can start it.
Ryo Ishikawa’s Travel
Although moving to the U.S. would ease Ryo Ishikawa’s travel schedule, he has chosen to live in Japan. His fans love him there, and it is his home. To play on the 2012 PGA Tour, Ishikawa is flying from Japan to the U.S.
All PGA golf players have to travel for events, but few travel as far as Ryo Ishikawa is. The worst travel a U.S. player faces is between the East Coast and Hawaii. These locations have a time differential of 5 hours. In contrast, Ishikawa will face a 14-hour differential when he is playing on at events like Bay Hill.
Can Ryo Ishikawa Qualify?
I expect to see Ryo Ishikawa in the Masters. He has the skill to be there. As he faces a strenuous travel program, I do not expect this to affect his play early in the season. He has played in the U.S. before and can do well. Ishikawa should qualify for the Masters.
However, the Masters will begin right about when I think Ishikawa’s travel will start to take a toll. The Masters will be well into Ishikawa’s season. He will be rested early in the year. As the 2012 PGA Tour progresses, we will have to see if he can stay rested and play well.
Sources: Ryo Ishikawa