The Japanese media has been following Ai Miyazato for the better part of a decade by now, but with 5 LPGA wins in the past 12 months, there's been a bit of a resurgence of interest in her in Japan, particularly with her 1st LPGA title defense coming up in a couple of weeks. The result is that we're finally starting to see new features on Ai-sama on youtube. And the best news for us over here in America is that some Japanese reporters are even seeking out English speakers to comment on her and her reception in the U.S. This one even features Ji-Yai Shin's caddie, Dean Herden, along with one of the Vision 54 people--plus, if I'm not mistaken, there's a lot of footage from Locust Hill:
Basically it's a recap of her season, her style of golf, her slump, and her journey back to the top. It's well worth watching, even if you understand even less Japanese than I do! Here's part 2:
This one focuses on her practice routine, her feelings on getting her 1st LPGA win at the Evian Masters just over a year ago, and the reactions of the reporter and his colleagues (which are pretty funny, language barrier or not).
Ai-sama handles herself pretty well with the American media and fans, too:
Wait for the end...wait for it...! You can bet Val Skinner didn't forget it the next day, when she interviewed Ai-sama right after she won the ShopRite Classic and rose to the top of the Rolex Rankings:
Never can quite tell when Ai-sama is dodging a question she doesn't want to answer or simply not understanding it, but I would have loved to hear what she had to say about "dealing with the weight of a nation on [her] shoulders." That would be an interesting question to ask Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb, Suzann Pettersen, Ji-Yai Shin, Ya Ni Tseng, Shanshan Feng, Azahara Munoz, Mariajo Uribe, Catriona Matthew, Sandra Gal, Karine Icher, Guilia Sergas, Alena Sharp, Angela Park, Becky Brewerton, Jennifer Rosales, Ashleigh Simon, and Annika and Lorena, too, wouldn't it? Somebody should write their answers up! Are any of them as big in their countries as Ai-sama is in hers? I don't think so.