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Ryo Donating All Winnings in 2011 to Japanese Relief Effort
Though only 19 years old, Japanese golfing sensation Ryo Ishikawa showed surprising maturity and magnanimity after announcing that he'll donate all prize money he earns in 2011 to the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in his home country.
"By doing so, I would really like to encourage those people, especially those who are going through the hardship in Japan," Ishikawa said at Augusta National, where he's playing in this week's Masters. "[I] hope that this will contribute to those people so that they will be encouraged and they can walk again in their life."
One of four Japanese players in the Masters' field - the others are Hiroyuki Fujita, Yuta Ikeda and amateur Hideki Matsuyama, Ishikawa hasn't been home since the March 11 disaster. But that doesn't mean his countrymen and women aren't far from his thoughts. "I would like to provide long-term support for those people," added Ishikawa, who, despite his youth, has 10 wins as a professional.
Matsuyama is from and attends college in the city of Sendai, which was horribly damaged by the tsunami that resulted from the 9.0 earthquake. "I've seen it, and it's just indescribable," he said. "It's just beyond imagination."
In addition to donating his prize money Ishikawa will also contribute money for any birdies he racks up. "People are lining up for food and water, three or four hours, just to make a neat line," Ishikawa added.
"As I watch these things and listen to the media report on the endurance of the Japanese people, how calm they are, I am very proud to be Japanese."