She's been described as Japan’s golf wonder girl... and she did something pretty wonderful at the LPGA's season opener.
Starting the final round five strokes behind Suzanne Pettersen, Ai Miyazato played a remarkable game of catch-up. She added an eagle to a slew of birdies and came up with a 9-under-par 63 today at the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand. With that, she won the season-opening event by one shot over 2007 champ Suzann Pettersen.
Despite the substantial deficit and a bogey on the second hole Ms. Miyazato, was able to keep focused. “Just every single shot, try to hit the fairway, hit the green and make some putts." that was her methodology. "It was really simple" she explained, "but under the pressure it was really difficult to do." I'd say "really difficult" sounds like an understatement. The Constructivist has a more detailed (and very enthusiastic) analysis of Ai-sama's win on his awesome site Mostly Harmless.
Ai Miyazato is an uber-star in Japan and often credited with reviving public interest in women’s golf in Japan. If she is playing, television audiences soar and thousands of additional spectators are drawn to golf courses when she's playing in a tournament.
It looks like 2010 might be good year for golf in Japan.