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Ishikawa finishes alone in second

Kyodo

Ryo Ishikawa gave himself a boost in his Masters preparation on Sunday, birdying the last two holes to finish alone in second at the Puerto Rico Open, his career-best U.S. PGA Tour result.

The 20-year-old star, playing on the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeastern shores, closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 14-under 274, two strokes behind George McNeill of the United States.

Ishikawa was tied for the lead when he narrowly missed an eagle chip and tapped in for birdie on the par-5 18th hole.

McNeill, playing in the final pairing with Henrik Stenson, then pulled a shot ahead with a birdie on the 17th and made another on the final hole.

“I never imagined that I would be able to contend for the title like this. I felt like I was dreaming at times,” said Ishikawa, who began the day tied for fifth, three strokes off the lead. He had six birdies and two bogeys in the final round.