10-year-old Japanese golfer closing in on 12th sponsor

voanews.com -- Jul 18

EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA — Miroku Suto of Japan looks like a professional golfer with logos of 11 sponsors splashed across her polo shirt, cap, bag and even her belt.

Her parents say the deals are worth in the mid-six figures annually, with some contracts for 10 years. A 12th sponsorship is waiting when she returns to her home three hours outside of Tokyo.

The sponsors are so important that Suto's mother and caddie, former figure skater Miyuki Suto, had her daughter change into a sponsor's belt before she sat for a video interview and carefully arranged her hat in her hands so the logos could be seen.

Miroku Suto has extreme confidence, saying through an interpreter she wants to become "a legend."

She has a ways to go. She's only 10.

Although Suto won consecutive titles in the 6-and-under age group at the Junior World Golf Championships in 2017-18 on a par-3 course, she hasn't done as well as she's moved up in age.

She struggled this year in the 9-10 age group and tied for 17th, 18 shots behind the winner on a par-74, 4,201-yard layout at Sycuan Resort Willow Glen Course. It's the third straight time she has left San Diego without a title (the 2020 tournament was canceled because of the pandemic). ...continue reading