11 October 2019

Seven Winner’s Facts

Playing in her first major tournament that was also her first event outside of Japan, Japan’s Hinako Shibuno engraved history by claiming the AIG Women's British Open at Woburn. Here are seven facts on the second ever Japanese player - male or female - to win a major. 
1. She’s been nicknamed the “Smiling Cinderella” by the media in her home country of Japan since she’s always smiling and      sometimes high-fiving fans. 
2. Shibuno is an avid softball player. Earlier this year she told Golf Digest of Japan that she enjoys playing softball more than golf. She is a pitcher but has also learned to bat left-handed to avoid damaging her golf swing.
3. Shibuno’s parents were both athletes. Both her parents were track-and-field athletes. Her father, Satoru, was a discus thrower and her mother, Nobuko, threw the javelin.
4. Shibuno’s win ended a 42-year Japanese drought in majors and makes her the second-ever Japanese player to win a major golf tournament. The first Japanese player was Chako Higuchi who won the 1977 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
5. When she was a child, Shibuno dreamed of becoming Ariel, the star of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Her other option was to become a Kamen Rider. 
6. Shibuno had never previously played professionally outside Japan. The Women’s British Open was Shibuno’s debut competitive event outside her home country. She has two victories on the JLPGA Tour.
7. Shibuno is only the second player to win in her major debut in this decade. She joins Hyo Koo Kim, who won the 2014 Evian Championship.
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