Life and Legacy of Ai Miyazato
Ai Miyazato’s Parents, Brothers, and Childhood
Miyazato was born in the Higashi District, Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. She was born on the 19th of June in 1985. Her father is Yu Miyazato and her mother is Toyoko Miyazato, both of which are golfing enthusiasts. Her brothers are Yusaku Miyazato and Kiyoshi Miyazato who are both professional golf players just like her. They are a golf loving family and it would seem that their parents have given them full support for their love of the sport.
It is apparent that all three of them have received professional golf training at a very young age with the goal of competing. She and her brothers have made historic records in the industry but chose to play locally and represent Japan. They have competed in games as well where they represented Asia. Ai Miyazato played as an amateur until 2003.
Rising Golf Star
What is interesting about her is that even if she started to play and train at a very young age, she did not play professionally until 2003. She was very dedicated to her education and she played golf merely as a hobby. She would join competitions but would make sure that training for it would not affect her studies. However, in 2003, she joined a professional event for the LPGA of Japan tour known as the Dunlop Ladies Open. It was held in Miyagi Prefecture and she was still in high school at the time.
Her impressive win in this Dunlop Ladies Open changed her goals and eventually encouraged her to play professionally. Furthermore, this win in a professional event gives her a golden ticket towards professional matches and other impressive opportunities. It was an eye opener for her family and it opened the gates towards an international career for her.
Ai Miyazato’s Retirement
It was in May of 2017 when Ai Miyazato announced that she will be retiring from the competitive industry by the end of the 2017 season. She does promise that she will still leisurely play and will appear in important events when invited. However, she has given finality to her decision to stop competing after more than a decade in the industry.
She has won multiple titles from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and has made an incredible name for herself not only locally but internationally. She has become a legend in the field serving as an inspiration for young, aspiring golf players all over the world. For a while, she was the top-ranked golfer in the world and never failed to impress fans and enthusiasts not only from Japan but throughout the globe.
However, in an interview, Miyazato has indicated that she had been thinking about this retirement for five years to the surprise of the media. She said that it was her difficulty to stay motivate that pushed her to make the dreaded decision. Regardless, she admits that she was happy about her experiences and will never forget all the people who had helped her reach where she was before she retired.
The decision and announcement were quite emotional, especially on the very last putt of her very last game in September 2017. She admitted in an interview that this last hole was the most emotional for her as she felt so much love from the fans and the media. She even received a flower from Gary Player.
Many experts in the field indicated that they have been expecting this retirement for a while now but they did not expect that her announcement will be sudden. Many fans were left with disappointment and sadness but feel generally happy with the decision of their idol.
Ai Miyazato’s Age
Miyazato was born in the year 1985 and she will be turning 33 in June 2018. Although she is very young, she had been playing professionally since 2004. Because of this lengthy career, she chose to retire at a very young age to focus on family and take a rest from all the traveling.
To this date, Ai Miyazato remains unmarried and does not have any children. In fact, many people have commented on the fact that she does not date romantically due to her excessive focus on her career. Throughout her career, she was never romantically involved with any other personalities and her love life was never a part of the news. She was very professional and she kept her personal affairs and details to herself and away from the spotlight. However, this may change since she retired in 2017.
General Statistics and Profile
General Career Record and General Ranking
She has been in the professional industry for 14 years before officially retiring in 2017. In this short span of time, she won a total of nine LPGA titles, two Ladies European tours, 15 LPGA of Japan tours, and more. She has a total of 25 professional wins both locally and internationally. She has represented Japan multiple times for international games as well.
However, it was only in 2010 when she became the Number 1 ranked Women’s World Golf Rankings. This is a prestigious title to receive, especially for her young age of 25 and a five-year track record in the professional arena. She became an immediate star and many people all over the world started rooting for her.
Her playing style has won her multiple professional titles and an international fame that people will never forget. She served as an inspiration for young golf players all over the world and she has a proven track record that is sure to wow any expert in the field. She has a precise and well-studied playing style which can only be performed by masters and legacies in the playing field.
Ai Miyazato’s Driving Distance
The average driving distance of Ai Miyazato is at 240.86, she currently ranks as the 145th out of all the women professional golfers in the world. Her driving accuracy, letting her win multiple titles in her entire career, is at 78% making her the 27th in the world rankings. She has a scoring average of 71, which gained her multiple awards and titles. She won Rolex Player of the year six times in her 14-year career.
Ai Miyazato’s Golf Swing
Many experts have been studying her swings for years because it is one of the most unique and impressive out of all women golf players in the world. She was often compared to Michelle Wie. Miyazato is said to have a longer and stronger backswing which is accurate and efficient, bringing her success majority of the time. Compared to other players who choose to swing in rapid movements, many experts say that it is the ‘slow ones that win the race’. She is also known pretty well for her accuracy in striking. Many experts who studied her swings have noted that she uses muscle memory to train her hand the correct swing path, thus the rather slow pace of her strikes.
Number of Titles
In her entire 14 year career, she has won about 25 titles, this is an impressive number for a person who has been in the professional arena in a short span of time. She had been competing as a US-based golf player but still represents Japan multiple times for international events. However, she has long decided to retire from the spotlight and focus on golf more as a hobby than a career.
Ai Miyazato Salary and Networth
She started playing for the LPGA tour in 2004 where she played a total of two tournaments. She earned a total of 70,000 USD. She started earning larger amounts in the following years with her largest earning by the end of 2009. It was during this year that she ranked as the 3rd highest earner for golf players in Japan. During this year she played a total of 23 games and earned a total of 1.5 Million USD. She continued to earn millions yearly until 2012. However, her earnings started to decline by 2013 when she started to play and win fewer tournaments.
Ai Miyazato and her Tournaments
Ai Miyazato has played for multiple tournaments throughout her career. She has played for the following:
- ANA Inspiration – This is probably one of the most prestigious golf championships in the world for professional women golfers. It is held annually in Rancho Mirage in California. It was established in 1972 and has been one of the five major championships for women golfers in Japan. To be able to play in it is a clear indication of one’s talent and abilities to play.
- Women’s PGA Championship – This was established in 1955 and is considered to be one of the largest professional cups for women golfers in the world. It is also considered as the second-longest running tournament in the history of LPGA. This particular championship is strictly “professional only” and does not allow applications from amateur players.
- US Women’s Open – It is the oldest and longest running tours of the LPGA and is one of the first to recognize professional women golfers in the world. It was established in 1946 and was one of the revolutionizing moves towards women’s equality post-war. It is one of the five major championship tournaments in the world which is recognized by the LPGA.
- The Evian Championship – This is a France based women’s professional golf tournament. It was founded in 1994 and has been one of the major events in the professional league of women golf players in the world.
Ai Miyazato for the JLPGA
After her win in the Dunlop Ladies Open in 2003, she decided to go professional a year later. She joined the junior league of the Ladies Professional Golfer Association (JLPGA) tour. She immediately won five straight tournaments. Then, a year later she was given an opportunity to represent Japan in the Women’s World Cup of Golf. Impressively, she along with Rui Kitada won making her a household name in the international arena of golfers. Just a year after she went professional, she was the youngest player to win a major event for the JLPGA. Through this, and all her other wins, Ai Miyazaki immediately became rank #2 in the JLPGA.
Ai Miyazato: LPGA Tour of Japan
She had been a part of the LPGA since 2005 and played two tournaments for her first season with the LPGA. After a decade playing as a part of the LPGA, she has been playing 20 tournaments per year on average, earning her millions of dollars per year. She was able to reach the qualifying rounds in 2006. She became the first woman to compete for a men’s professional event in Japan. She had her first win for the Evian Masters in France in 2009.