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Well, I couldn’t find a lot of the players I was specifically looking for during the 5 hours I walked Locust Hill in the practice round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship today, but I did get to see some pretty cool moments. Probably my favorite was when I wandered over to the putting green in the mid-afternoon and ended up only a few feet away from Belen Mozo and Mariajo Uribe as they took their time checking out the Hello Kitty golf gear a rep was showing them, to the accompaniment of merciless teasing in Spanish from Mozo’s caddy. But a close second was watching a Japanese girl about onechan’s age taking a picture of her dad with Ai Miyazato off the 8th green, wondering aloud to the security guard following her group whether the girl ever got a picture with Ai herself, and getting a reply that she had about 5 holes earlier. I got a little taste of Janice Moodie’s sense of humor on the 9th green, when she teasingly thanked the gentleman for protecting her.
I also wandered past a little moment of levity between Katherine Hull and Sandra Gal on the back 9 and overheard Na Yeon Choi on the 16th tee asking Ai Miyazato what Korean food she likes and being a little surprised she likes it spicy. But, really, it’s difficult to single out any moment in particular. Stopping in the parking lot after I picked up my media credentials to let Laura Davies walk by, getting a chance to wish Maria Hjorth luck as she was walking up the hill beside the 10th fairway, watching a little bit of buzz break out at the sleepy putting green when Ya Ni Tseng showed up, finding out that Pornanong Phatlum and her caddie coordinate their clothes even during practice rounds and that Harukyo Nomura has dyed her hair light blond, getting to see Inbee Park and Hee Young Park hit a few shots (not to mention Momoko Ueda, Jimin Kang, Jenny Shin, Ji Young Oh, and many others I didn’t recognize)…. The list goes on and on, particularly if you happen to be a women’s golf otaku, but I’ll stop here in deference to my readers who aren’t.
By the way, Ai-sama’s manager Takumi Zaoya very kindly helped me gain permission to join the Japanese press pool as they interviewed her after her practice round, on which more after I get some translation help from the Full Metal Archivist, onechan, and imoto. I also have some observations on Locust Hill and the way Ai-sama and NYC prepare for a major. Stay tuned!