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Ai Miyazato: “Keep my emotions under control”
Two-times Evian Championship winner in 2009 and 2011, the Japanese champion Ai Miyazato, aged 32, has chosen to retire after a final appearance this week on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Ai, you you announced your intention to retire a few months ago and The Evian Championship 2017 is your last tournament. Any chance of you changing your mind?

No. (Laughs).

You said earlier this year that you had maybe lost the motivation to play, which explains your decision.

Well it's funny to say this because I made the decision last year, but because it's been limited, the limited period of time, I'm starting to feel like a little bit more motivated to play golf. It's more simple to play well. Maybe that's why I've been playing good and I feel good with my game at the moment. I hope I'll play well this week! I just want to stay focused until the final moment and enjoy playing until the last putt.

What will you miss?

Firstly, all my friends. It's like a big family on the LPGA tour, we all travel together and I made lots of great friends in 10 years. And I'll miss playing great and beautiful courses around the world.

You're a superstar in Japan. Can you take me back to when you had the most pressure back home.

There is a good side and a less good side to being really well-known, with people expecting a lot of you. I was young when I reached the top level. That much attention actually helped me to play better, it enabled me become world number 1. But when I didn't play well, it was obviously much harder. You have to accept your situation sometimes when things are not going your way.

You played with Lorena Ochoa in her final event...

Yeah, I was actually thinking about it. It was an honor to have played with her in her last event. Lorena retired because she wanted to spend more time with her family. As I said, for myself it's about motivation. But like Lorena, who I saw crying at the end of the round, the hardest thing for me this week will be keeping my emotions under control.

What will remain your best souvenir of Evian ?

My first win in 2009. It was a really special moment for me. I had struggled for four years since starting on the LPGA Tour. I will aways remember that win. It was almost impossible to hit the final putt, my hands were shaking so much!

Ai Miyazato: quick bio

Ai Miyazato, born in 1985 and from the region of Okinawa, turned pro in 2004. After around 15 victories in Japan, she joined the LPGA Tour in 2006. After three mixed seasons, the Japanese player finally obtained her first win on this tour in 2009 at the Evian Masters, beating Sweden's Sophie Gustafson in a play-off. 2010 was her big year when she won five times (four of these victories at the first ten LPGA events of the season) and became world number 1. Her name was engraved again on the Evian Masters trophy in 2011, enabling her to win the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit, even though she only took part in two of their tournaments. Ai Miyazato's last victories on the LPGA Tour were in 2012. She has a total of 25 titles to her name.

So Yeon Ryu: “I heard about Ai's decision at the Volvik Championship in Michigan. I just nearly cried. When I was young, Ai was one of my idols. I first met her in 2009 when I played the Japan against Korean tournament in Okinawa. I still remember the exact situation.”

Lexi Thompson: “Ai is the nicest person in the world! The Tour is definitely going to miss her. I've played a lot of golf with her. She's not only a great player but her whole attitude and demeanor on the course is admirable, you never know when she plays bad or good.”