Ryo Ishikawa pledges to donate all 2011 winnings to Japanese victims

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Never mind being the most charitable sportsman on the planet, Ryo Ishikawa’s charity pledge makes him one of the finest human beings on the planet.

The 19-year-old – yes, 19! – Japanese prodigy will donate all of the prize money he wins in 2011 to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, and on top of that, he will donate 100,000 yen (£750) for every birdie he makes.

On the basis of his performance last season, Ishikawa will donate round £1.25m to the Japanese victims although he sets his goal at £1.5m.

“I feel thrilled,” said Ishikawa. “I have enough money to spend for my golf. I still have savings. I believe this is the most positive way for me to spend money.”

Nicknamed the Bashful Prince by his fellow Japanese, Ishikawa is a hero in Japan and his popularity eclipses that of David Beckham and the pledge has won him legions of admirers all over the world.

Ishikawa believes the pledge will improve his focus in tournament play as he strives to reach his target, and you can guarantee Ishikawa will receive a lot of support when he lines up at Augusta for the Masters next week.

Ishikawa is yet to make a cut in the Masters in his first two starts but for a player with as much talent as he has, the 150/1 for Ishikawa to win the Masters could be a huge price.

The Japanese star will be at the centre of the media build-up next week and the positive attention will just spur the 19-year-old on.

His best finish in a Major tournament is a T27 at last year’s The Open, and while improvement is needed, Ishikawa has age on his side.

He has my support next week and in this professional age of greed and wealth, who wouldn’t want to see the $1.35m Masters prize donated to helping victims of a natural disaster.

A £20 stake on Ishikawa winning the Masters would return £3,020. New customers can sign up here to get £60 in free bets.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.