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Added March 31st, 2011 by Chalk

Ishikawa to Donate 2011 Golf Earnings to Japan Victims

Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, a 19-year-old golf sensation, has pledged to donate all the money he wins in golf tournaments this year to relief for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in his native country. He’s also pledging another 100,000 yen (about $1,207) for every birdie he makes this year. The nine-time winner on the Japan Tour hopes his total donation will be over $2 million.

“I feel thrilled,” said the 19-year-old, who was No. 3 on the Japan Tour’s money list last year. “My goal is 200 million yen (about $2.4 million). 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.”

Can the superstar teen really afford to not make any money this year? Well, actually he makes a lot more money from endorsements than from actual prize money, so that should help. Last year, Ishikawa raked in $1.9 million in prize money, but made a whopping $6 million in off-course endorsements, according to Golf Digest. Only 25 golfers made more money than Ishikawa in 2010.

Ishikawa turned pro in 2008, and has won at least 100 million yen (about $1.2m) every year. He also made 341 birdies last year.

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