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Ishikawa, Wiratchant Accept Invitations to Play in Masters

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant have accepted invitations to play in the Masters Tournament, according to Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne.

The addition of Ishikawa and Wiratchant brings the number of players in the Masters field to 85. The field represents 21 countries.

“Through our established qualifications, and invitations to select international players not otherwise qualified, we historically bring together a collection of the world’s top players, and this year is no different,” Payne said yesterday in a statement on the tournament’s website.

Ishikawa, 21, will enter his fifth straight Masters tournament. He has missed the cut in three of his previous four appearances and tied for 20th in 2011.

Wiratchant, 46, who has never played in the U.S., won last year’s Order of Merit on the Asian Tour, and is the tour’s career leader with 15 victories. He will make his first start at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, on April 11.

Last year’s winner was American Bubba Watson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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