I’m tempted to join in the mania and I don’t even golf! If you’re into golfing then you should already know about Japan’s 21-year-old golf phenom Ai Miyazato. According to Ai’s profile on the LPGA.com website, she stands at 5’2″, 2006 was her rookie year, and she’s collected over US $64,000 in earnings. She was recently featured in a Mainichi Daily News article that mentions her goal to become a top golfer in the US.
KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Ai Miyazato is everywhere in Japan: on billboards at the airport, magazine covers, TV commercials and daily sports pages. But Miyazato isn’t satisfied with just being a superstar in Japan — she wants to be a winner in the United States.
In the first two U.S. LPGA Tour events of the year, the smallish shotmaker commanded the largest galleries and media attention. There were more than 50 Japanese reporters and photographers in Ai’s Army following her every move in the Fields Open, which ended Saturday with Miyazato closing with a 66 to tie for third.
“I get so much exposure in the Japanese media that (American) people see me not for my golf but as this person who is famous in Japan,” she said. “But if I win here and move up, I think they’ll respect my golf. I’d like people to start to see my game.”
The 21-year-old Miyazato is entering her second season on the American women’s golf tour after a winless rookie season. She had seven top-10 finishes last year, including a third-place tie in the LPGA Championship.
“Playing in each tournament last year was a really good experience,” said Miyazato, who lives part-time near Los Angeles. “It was my dream to improve my game and then come play in the United States. I had some tough times last year but it was really fun.” [Via Mainichi Daily News. Read the entire article here.]