Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
The Japanese fairway is littered with golf stars who joined the U.S. or European game highly touted, but who found themselves decidedly unexceptional amid a wealth of international talent.
Indeed, “Japan’s next Tiger Woods” — a phrase tossed about more in hope than in fact ( by myself included) — is a misnomer, as it really hasn’t seen its first Tiger, on the global tour at least.
But Ai Miyazato’s maiden LPGA victory at the Evian Masters on Sunday, the first since her tour debut in 2005, is refreshing, not only for her in realising the tremendous potential she earlier displayed in 14 domestic wins, but for the rabid Japanese fans and players back at home.
Many of them also watched 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa’s first day at the British Open, where he actually played with Tiger and bested the superstar with a two-under 68, only to see the media boy wonder crash out with a 78 the next day.
What goes up must at some point come down.
The world of sports is full of examples of bright lights who shone briefly before crashing back down to earth.
Tennis burnout used to grind teenage sensations into the dust with alarming regularity, with even all-time greats such as Bjorn Borg stressed into premature retirement, albeit the Swede was 26 when he made his shock decision to quit.