Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ai Miyazato

Miyazato Ai (born 19 June 1985) is a Japanese professional golfer who currently competes on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour and the Japan LPGA Tour (JLPGA). She was the top-ranked golfer in the Women's World Golf Rankings for three periods of time in 2010.Miyazato was born in Higashi, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. As an amateur in 2003, she won a professional event on the Japan LPGA Tour – the Dunlop Ladies Open in Miyagi Prefecture, where she was attending high school at the time.In her 2004 rookie season on the JLPGA Tour she won five tournaments. In February 2005, she represented Japan along with Rui Kitada winning the inaugural Women's World Cup of Golf. 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 has revived the JLPGA Tour after the retirement of Ayako Okamoto, over 32,000 people, the largest gallery ever to attend a JLPGA event, witnessed the final day of that tournament. She dominated the 2005 U.S. LPGA Q-School and secured her tour card, enabling her to compete in the 2006 season. She finished under par for four of the five qualifying rounds, and finished 12 strokes ahead of the closest competitor, setting a record for the largest margin of victory. Back in Japan, on December 15, 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. Miyazato earned her first LPGA Tour win at the 2009 Evian Masters, shooting 14-under par 274 to tie Sophie Gustafson who she then beat on the first playoff hole. 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 Christie Kerr who held the spot for three weeks, before Miyazato regained the spot again on 19 July, by a margin of 0.0006 average points. On 22 August 2010, Miyazato won for the fifth time in 2010 at the Safeway Classic with a two stroke victory over Christie Kerr and Na Yeon Choi. She regained the number 1 spot in the World Rankings, which had been briefly retaken by Kerr. She gave up the top spot again to Kerr on 25 October. She has endorsements deals with Suntory, Bridgestone Corporation, Japan Airlines, Oakley, Honda, Hisamitsu, Mitsubishi Electric & NTT Docomo. Her older brothers, Kiyoshi Miyazato and Yūsaku Miyazato are also professional golfers.

Ai Miyazato beautiful pose

Ai Miyazato performance at field

Ai Miyazato pose with her big trophy

Ai Miyazato smile pose with her trophy

Ai Miyazato greet her fans before playing

Ai Miyazato smile

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