Ai Miyazato

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Ai Miyazato
宮里 藍
— Golfer —
2010 Women's British Open – Miyazato Ai (8).jpg
Personal information
Born(1985-06-19) 19 June 1985 (age 28)
Higashi, Okinawa, Japan
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Nationality Japan
ResidenceHigashi, Okinawa, Japan
Career
Turned professional2004
Current tour(s)LPGA of Japan Tour (joined 2004)
LPGA Tour (joined 2006)
Ladies European Tour
Professional wins25
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour9
Ladies European Tour2
LPGA of Japan Tour15
Other1
Best results in LPGA Major Championships
Kraft Nabisco C'shipT15: 2007
LPGA ChampionshipT3: 2006, 2010
U.S. Women's OpenT6: 2009, 2011
Women's British OpenT3: 2009
The Evian ChampionshipT15: 2013
Achievements and awards
Ladies European Tour
Order of Merit winner
2011
William and Mousie
Powell Award
2012
 
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Ai Miyazato
宮里 藍
— Golfer —
2010 Women's British Open – Miyazato Ai (8).jpg
Personal information
Born(1985-06-19) 19 June 1985 (age 28)
Higashi, Okinawa, Japan
Height5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Nationality Japan
ResidenceHigashi, Okinawa, Japan
Career
Turned professional2004
Current tour(s)LPGA of Japan Tour (joined 2004)
LPGA Tour (joined 2006)
Ladies European Tour
Professional wins25
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour9
Ladies European Tour2
LPGA of Japan Tour15
Other1
Best results in LPGA Major Championships
Kraft Nabisco C'shipT15: 2007
LPGA ChampionshipT3: 2006, 2010
U.S. Women's OpenT6: 2009, 2011
Women's British OpenT3: 2009
The Evian ChampionshipT15: 2013
Achievements and awards
Ladies European Tour
Order of Merit winner
2011
William and Mousie
Powell Award
2012

Miyazato Ai (Japanese: 宮里藍, born 19 June 1985) is a Japanese professional golfer who currently competes on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour and the LPGA of Japan Tour (JLPGA). She was the top-ranked golfer in the Women's World Golf Rankings on three occasions in 2010.

Early life and amateur career[edit]

Miyazato was born in Higashi, Okinawa, Japan. As an amateur in 2003, she won a professional event on the LPGA of Japan Tour – the Dunlop Ladies Open in Miyagi Prefecture, where she was attending high school at the time.

Professional career[edit]

In her 2004 rookie season on the JLPGA Tour she won five tournaments. In February 2005, she represented Japan along with Rui Kitada and won the inaugural Women's World Cup of Golf.[1] In 2005, she won six events on the JLPGA tour, and was the #2 ranked player on the JLPGA Tour behind Yuri Fudoh.

In winning the Japan Open Championship at age 20 in 2005, Miyazato became the youngest player on the JLPGA Tour to win a major. Furthering the notion that Miyazato revived the JLPGA Tour after the retirement of Ayako Okamoto, over 32,000 spectators, the largest gallery ever to attend a JLPGA event, witnessed the final round.

At the LPGA Qualifying Tournament in Florida in December 2005, Miyazato easily secured her tour card for the 2006 season. She was under-par in four of the five rounds, and was 12 strokes ahead of the closest competitor, which set a record for the largest margin of victory.[2] Back in Japan, on 15 December, she played the opening rounds of the Okinawa Open, becoming the first Japanese woman to compete in a domestic men's professional event, although she failed to make the cut for the final rounds.

In her fourth season on the LPGA Tour in 2009, Miyazato earned her first win at the Evian Masters in France, defeating Sophie Gustafson at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.[3]

In 2010, she won four of the first nine official tournaments on the LPGA Tour and on 21 June rose to number 1 in the Women's World Golf Rankings. She held the spot for only one week and was replaced by Cristie Kerr who held the spot for three weeks, before Miyazato regained the spot again on 19 July, by a narrow margin of 0.0006 average points.[4]

In August, Miyazato won for the fifth time in 2010 at the Safeway Classic in Oregon, with a two-stroke victory over Kerr and Na Yeon Choi. She regained the top spot in the world rankings, which had been briefly retaken by Kerr, but then gave it up to Kerr on 25 October.

In 2011, Miyazato won the Order of Merit on the Ladies European Tour (LET), despite only playing in two events on that tour, the co-sponsored events with the LPGA. The LET has no minimum tournament requirements for membership and her second win at the Evian Masters, whose purse is much larger than most LET events, earned her enough to top the list.[5]

In April 2012, Miyazato won her eighth LPGA event at the inaugural LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, four strokes ahead of runners-up Azahara Muñoz and Meena Lee.

She has endorsements deals with Suntory, Bridgestone Corporation, Japan Airlines, Oakley, Honda, Hisamitsu, Mitsubishi Electric and NTT Docomo.

Her older brothers, Kiyoshi Miyazato and Yūsaku Miyazato are also professional golfers. She is not related to fellow Japanese LPGA Tour player Mika Miyazato.

Professional wins (25)[edit]

LPGA Tour (9)[edit]

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
Runner(s)-upWinner's
share ($)
126 Jul 2009Evian Masters69-66-70-69=274–14PlayoffSweden Sophie Gustafson487,500
221 Feb 2010Honda PTT LPGA Thailand67-67-70-63=267–211 strokeNorway Suzann Pettersen195,000
328 Feb 2010HSBC Women's Champions69-71-69-69=278–102 strokesUnited States Cristie Kerr195,000
42 May 2010Tres Marias Championship63-72-71-67=273–191 strokeUnited States Stacy Lewis195,000
520 Jun 2010ShopRite LPGA Classic66-67-64=197–162 strokesSouth Korea M. J. Hur225,000
622 Aug 2010Safeway Classic66-67-72=205–112 strokesSouth Korea Na Yeon Choi
United States Cristie Kerr
225,000
724 Jul 2011Evian Masters68-68-67-70=273–152 strokesUnited States Stacy Lewis487,500
821 Apr 2012LPGA Lotte Championship71-65-70-70=276–124 strokesSouth Korea Meena Lee
Spain Azahara Muñoz
255,000
91 Jul 2012Walmart NW Arkansas Championship68-68-65=200–121 strokeJapan Mika Miyazato
Spain Azahara Muñoz
300,000

LPGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
12009Evian MastersSweden Sophie GustafsonWon with birdie on first extra hole

JLPGA Tour (15)[edit]

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
Runner(s)-up
128 Sep 2003Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open
(as an amateur)
70-70-71=211–51 strokeJapan Mari Katayama
Japan Hiroko Yamaguchi
27 Mar 2004Daikin Orchid Ladies70-66-70=206–103 strokesJapan Kaori Higo
313 Jun 2004Suntory Ladies Open69-70-70-68=277–116 strokesJapan Hiroko Yamaguchi
Japan Toshimi Kimura
420 Jun 2004APiTA Circle K Sunkus Ladies69-69-72=210–61 strokeJapan Yuri Fudoh
524 Oct 2004Masters GC Ladies69-68-68=205–111 strokeJapan Miho Koga
621 Nov 2004Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open66-67-69=202–143 strokesJapan Chieko Amanuma
Japan Rui Kitada
715 May 2005Vernal Ladies69-64-70=203–138 strokesJapan Akiko Fukushima
822 May 2005Chukyo TV Bridgestone Ladies Open65-74-70=209–7PlayoffAustralia Nikki Campbell
921 Aug 2005New Catapillar Mitsubishi Ladies66-75-68=209–103 strokesSouth Korea Mi-Jeong Jeon
Japan Hiromi Mogi
102 Oct 2005Japan Women's Open Golf Championship69-69-72-73=283–55 strokesJapan Akiko Fukushima
1130 Oct 2005Hisako Higuchi IDC Otsuka Kagu Ladies67-68-67=202–147 strokesTaiwan Julie Lu
Australia Nikki Campbell
Japan Kaori Higo
Japan Shinobu Moromizato
1220 Nov 2005Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open69-70-65=204–125 strokesJapan Shiho Oyama
South Korea Woo-Soon Ko
Japan Kasumi Fujii
1310 Sep 2006JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup70-68-74-70=282–63 strokesSouth Korea Hyun-Ju Shin
1424 Sep 2006Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open70-73-71=214–23 strokesJapan Shiho Oyama
1511 Oct 2009Sankyo Ladies Open74-70-68=212–41 strokeJapan Mayu Hattori
South Korea Mi-Jeong Jeon

Tournament in bold denotes major championships in JLPGA Tour.

Other (1)[edit]

Results in LPGA majors[edit]

Tournament2004200520062007200820092010201120122013
Kraft Nabisco ChampionshipDNPT44T29T15T3169CUTT33T56T55
LPGA ChampionshipDNPDNPT3CUTCUTDNPT3CUTT6T15
U.S. Women's OpenDNPCUTT28T10T27T6T31T6T28T11
Women's British OpenCUTT119T585T3T9CUTT26CUT
The Evian Championship ^T15

^ The Evian Championship was added as a major in 2013
DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Yellow background for a top-10 finish

Summary[edit]

LPGA Tour career summary[edit]

YearTournaments
played
Cuts
made*
Wins2nds3rdsTop 10sBest
finish
Earnings
($)
Money
list rank
Scoring
average
Scoring
rank
2004210101T269,608n/a70.20n/a
2005650021T10102,663n/a72.41n/a
200621190017T3532,0532271.2213
2007251901272788,4771773.0156
200823170003T4410,8334672.1948
200922221211311,517,149370.334
20102118501911,457,384670.657
20111917101611,007,633871.6318
201223202201111,334,977570.566
2013201701022526,9682771.2926

* Includes matchplay and other events without a cut.

JLPGA prize money[edit]

YearEarnings (¥)Rank
20031,060,800116
2004122,972,3492
2005114,377,8712
200658,604,50110
20074,318,30589
200827,892,33832
200946,430,11614
201016,911,53348
20117,885,28971
20121,494,000106
Career401,947,42232

World ranking[edit]

Position in Women's World Golf Rankings at the end of each calendar year.

YearWorld
ranking
Source
20066[7]
200717[8]
200836[9]
20098[10]
20106[11]
20119[12]
20129[13]

Team appearances[edit]

Amateur

Professional

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Japan Captures Women's World Cup". Golf Channel. Sports Network. 13 February 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Hack, Damon (5 December 2005). "Golf; Golf's Latest Next Big Thing? She's Already a Star in Japan". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Pugmire, Jerome (26 July 2009). "Ai Miyazato of Japan wins Evian Masters". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  4. ^ KSDK.com, Miyazato replaces Kerr as women's No. 1 19 July 2010
  5. ^ Ai Miyazato wins money title with a twist
  6. ^ "Ai Miyazato Stats". LPGA. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Women's World Golf Rankings". 26 December 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Women's World Golf Rankings". 25 December 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Women's World Golf Rankings". 30 December 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Women's World Golf Rankings". 29 December 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Women's World Golf Rankings". 28 December 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Women's World Golf Rankings". 27 December 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Women's World Golf Rankings". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Jiyai Shin
World No. 1 Ranked Golfer
21 June 2010 – 27 June 2010
Succeeded by
Cristie Kerr
Preceded by
Cristie Kerr
World No. 1 Ranked Golfer
19 July 2010 – 25 July 2010
Succeeded by
Jiyai Shin
Preceded by
Cristie Kerr
World No. 1 Ranked Golfer
22 August 2010 – 24 October 2010
Succeeded by
Cristie Kerr