(Reuters) – Japan’s Ai Miyazato will take part in the Women’s British Open as scheduled despite her father and coach Masaru being taken to hospital after collapsing on the course on Tuesday, the former world number one has said.
The Okinawa-born Miyazato, who is retiring at the end of the season, cut short her participation in the pro-am event to accompany her father to hospital but said she had decided to play because he was in better condition than originally thought.
“At this stage he is still undergoing various tests and will remain in hospital,” she added. “He is in an unfamiliar country and for him to be in hospital will allow me to play with peace of mind.”
Miyazato, a nine-time winner on the U.S. LPGA Tour, won her first LPGA title at the 2009 Evian Masters in France.
She has never won a major, coming closest when tying for third at the Women’s PGA Championship (2006, 2010) and Women’s British Open (2009) but is hoping for one last shot at glory at this week’s event being played at Kingsbarns Golf Links.
“This is the home of golf and it will be fun working out how to tackle the course and the winds,” she added of the layout located southeast of St Andrews.
“I have experienced many different courses and that has really widened my technical range. I’m really excited and the result just depends on me.”
Miyazato, whose slow, simple swing makes her one of the cleanest ball-strikers in women’s golf, is making her 14th consecutive appearance at the tournament.
(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)