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 29)
Higashi, Okinawa, Japan
Height 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Nationality  Japan
Residence Higashi, Okinawa, Japan
Career
Turned professional 2004
Current tour(s) LPGA of Japan Tour (joined 2004)
LPGA Tour (joined 2006)
Ladies European Tour
Professional wins 25
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour 9
Ladies European Tour 2
LPGA of Japan Tour 15
Other 1
Best results in LPGA Major Championships
Kraft Nabisco C'ship T15: 2007
LPGA Championship T3: 2006, 2010
U.S. Women's Open T6: 2009, 2011
Women's British Open T3: 2009
The Evian Championship T15: 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. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
1 26 Jul 2009 Evian Masters 69-66-70-69=274 –14 Playoff Sweden Sophie Gustafson 487,500
2 21 Feb 2010 Honda PTT LPGA Thailand 67-67-70-63=267 –21 1 stroke Norway Suzann Pettersen 195,000
3 28 Feb 2010 HSBC Women's Champions 69-71-69-69=278 –10 2 strokes United States Cristie Kerr 195,000
4 2 May 2010 Tres Marias Championship 63-72-71-67=273 –19 1 stroke United States Stacy Lewis 195,000
5 20 Jun 2010 ShopRite LPGA Classic 66-67-64=197 –16 2 strokes South Korea M. J. Hur 225,000
6 22 Aug 2010 Safeway Classic 66-67-72=205 –11 2 strokes South Korea Na Yeon Choi
United States Cristie Kerr
225,000
7 24 Jul 2011 Evian Masters 68-68-67-70=273 –15 2 strokes United States Stacy Lewis 487,500
8 21 Apr 2012 LPGA Lotte Championship 71-65-70-70=276 –12 4 strokes South Korea Meena Lee
Spain Azahara Muñoz
255,000
9 1 Jul 2012 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship 68-68-65=200 –12 1 stroke Japan Mika Miyazato
Spain Azahara Muñoz
300,000

LPGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2009 Evian Masters Sweden Sophie Gustafson Won with birdie on first extra hole

JLPGA Tour (15)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up
1 28 Sep 2003 Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open
(as an amateur)
70-70-71=211 –5 1 stroke Japan Mari Katayama
Japan Hiroko Yamaguchi
2 7 Mar 2004 Daikin Orchid Ladies 70-66-70=206 –10 3 strokes Japan Kaori Higo
3 13 Jun 2004 Suntory Ladies Open 69-70-70-68=277 –11 6 strokes Japan Hiroko Yamaguchi
Japan Toshimi Kimura
4 20 Jun 2004 APiTA Circle K Sunkus Ladies 69-69-72=210 –6 1 stroke Japan Yuri Fudoh
5 24 Oct 2004 Masters GC Ladies 69-68-68=205 –11 1 stroke Japan Miho Koga
6 21 Nov 2004 Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open 66-67-69=202 –14 3 strokes Japan Chieko Amanuma
Japan Rui Kitada
7 15 May 2005 Vernal Ladies 69-64-70=203 –13 8 strokes Japan Akiko Fukushima
8 22 May 2005 Chukyo TV Bridgestone Ladies Open 65-74-70=209 –7 Playoff Australia Nikki Campbell
9 21 Aug 2005 New Catapillar Mitsubishi Ladies 66-75-68=209 –10 3 strokes South Korea Mi-Jeong Jeon
Japan Hiromi Mogi
10 2 Oct 2005 Japan Women's Open Golf Championship 69-69-72-73=283 –5 5 strokes Japan Akiko Fukushima
11 30 Oct 2005 Hisako Higuchi IDC Otsuka Kagu Ladies 67-68-67=202 –14 7 strokes Taiwan Julie Lu
Australia Nikki Campbell
Japan Kaori Higo
Japan Shinobu Moromizato
12 20 Nov 2005 Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open 69-70-65=204 –12 5 strokes Japan Shiho Oyama
South Korea Woo-Soon Ko
Japan Kasumi Fujii
13 10 Sep 2006 JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup 70-68-74-70=282 –6 3 strokes South Korea Hyun-Ju Shin
14 24 Sep 2006 Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open 70-73-71=214 –2 3 strokes Japan Shiho Oyama
15 11 Oct 2009 Sankyo Ladies Open 74-70-68=212 –4 1 stroke Japan Mayu Hattori
South Korea Mi-Jeong Jeon

Tournament in bold denotes major championships in JLPGA Tour.

Other (1)[edit]

Results in LPGA majors[edit]

Results not in chronological order before 2014.

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Kraft Nabisco Championship DNP T44 T29 T15 T31 69 CUT T33 T56 T55 T67
U.S. Women's Open DNP CUT T28 T10 T27 T6 T31 T6 T28 T11 CUT
Women's British Open CUT T11 9 T58 5 T3 T9 CUT T26 CUT T45
LPGA Championship DNP DNP T3 CUT CUT DNP T3 CUT T6 T15
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]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Kraft Nabisco Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 10 9
U.S. Women's Open 0 0 0 0 3 4 10 8
Women's British Open 0 0 1 2 4 5 11 8
LPGA Championship 0 0 2 2 3 4 7 4
The Evian Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
Totals 0 0 3 4 10 15 39 30
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 7 (2012 Kraft Nabisco – 2013 U.S. Open)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (2009 U.S. Open - 2009 British Open)

LPGA Tour career summary[edit]

Year Tournaments
played
Cuts
made*
Wins 2nds 3rds Top 10s Best
finish
Earnings
($)
Money
list rank
Scoring
average
Scoring
rank
2004 2 1 0 1 0 1 T2 69,608 n/a 70.20 n/a
2005 6 5 0 0 2 1 T10 102,663 n/a 72.41 n/a
2006 21 19 0 0 1 7 T3 532,053 22 71.22 13
2007 25 19 0 1 2 7 2 788,477 17 73.01 56
2008 23 17 0 0 0 3 T4 410,833 46 72.19 48
2009 22 22 1 2 1 13 1 1,517,149 3 70.33 4
2010 21 18 5 0 1 9 1 1,457,384 6 70.65 7
2011 19 17 1 0 1 6 1 1,007,633 8 71.63 18
2012 23 20 2 2 0 11 1 1,334,977 5 70.56 6
2013 20 17 0 1 0 2 2 526,968 27 71.29 26
  • Official as of 24 November 2013[6]

* Includes matchplay and other events without a cut.

JLPGA prize money[edit]

Year Earnings (¥) Rank
2003 1,060,800 116
2004 122,972,349 2
2005 114,377,871 2
2006 58,604,501 10
2007 4,318,305 89
2008 27,892,338 32
2009 46,430,116 14
2010 16,911,533 48
2011 7,885,289 71
2012 1,494,000 106
Career 401,947,422 32

World ranking[edit]

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

Year World
ranking
Source
2006 6 [7]
2007 17 [8]
2008 36 [9]
2009 8 [10]
2010 6 [11]
2011 9 [12]
2012 9 [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