Meet the Girls: LPGA stalwart Ai Miyazato
Ai Miyazato fact file
Name: Ai Miyazato
Date of birth: 19/06/1985
Place of birth: Higashi, Okinawa
Turned pro: 2003
About Ai Miyazato
Former world No 1 Ai Miyazato is one of Japan’s biggest names on the women’s professional golf circuit.
The 30-year-old plays on both the LPGA and Japanese LPGA (JLPGA) tours.
She started playing golf at the tender age of four and was heavily influenced by her father and coach, Masaru Miyazato, as she learnt the game.
As an amateur in 2003, she won a professional event on the JLPGA – the Dunlop Ladies Open – when she was still in high school.
She also won the 2003 Japan Junior Golf Championship and the Japan Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.
Miyazato turned professional in 2003 and started competing on the JLPGA.
In her rookie season on the JLPGA Tour she won five tournaments.
Overall, she has picked up 15 titles on the JLPGA Tour, including the Japan Open Championship at age 20 and JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup.
The current world No 81 won the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament by a record 12 strokes to earn her exempt card for the 2006 LPGA season.
Miyazato continued to enhance her reputation as she secured success on both tours.
She has so far recorded nine victories on the LPGA Tour, her last coming in 2012 at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
She held the Rolex rankings No 1 spot for 11 weeks during the 2010 season.
Although she has now dropped down the rankings, Miyazato still made the cut 16 times out of 23 events in 2015 and picked up nearly $200,000 in prize money.
Instagram: Ai Miyazato