No wonder Ai Miyazato calls the Evian Masters her favorite tournament. The 2009 Evian Masters was her first career LPGA victory, it is the only tournament she has won multiple times (also last year) and was a great charitable platform to help her home country of Japan last year.
“It just feels like the atmosphere is probably different than other tournaments, it's nice and relaxed,” said Miyazato, probably also influenced by the beauty of the village of Evian-les-Bains on the banks of Lake Geneva.
Last year, when Miyazato beat Stacy Lewis by two strokes, she earned attention by focusing on support for Japan after the 2011 earthquake disaster. She donated a portion of her $487,500 winner’s check to the Japanese relief effort. Additionally, she has combined with Japanese LPGA players Mika Miyazato and Momoko Ueda to raise nearly $150,000. It was also the first time her parents were present when she won a LPGA tournament.
“Last year was a little bit tough year for me, especially that earthquake in Japan,” Miyazato said. “That makes a little different my mind. But after this tournament my confidence was back and I starting to feel more comfortable and was trying to have fun and trying to get back to good news in Japan. All the things kind of came together, so it was really nice.”
Miyazato should feel even more comfortable this week as she leads the LPGA in Earnings ($1,059,311), Stroke Average (70.35), Rounds Under Par (28 of 40) and is tied with Yani Tseng for Top-10 Finishes (both at 8-for-12, 67 percent).
Here is a look at Miyazato’s record in the Evian Masters, where she is 19-under par with a 71.3 stroke average over 28 rounds:
Year Finish Scores
2005 T57 72-76-75-74
2006 T31 72-76-69-72
2007 T22 73-73-73-72
2008 T52 74-72-70-74
2009 1 69-66-70-69
2010 T19 69-72-74-68
2011 1 68-68-67-70