Former World No. 1 Ai Miyazato is due to announce her retirement in a media conference this Monday, at the tender age of just 31.

The Japanese golfer is a nine-time winner on the LPGA, holding the top spot for 12 weeks in 2010, but has struggled for form in recent years.

Miyazato is so popular in her native country that during the height of her career she took to disguising herself in public to avoid being mobbed by fans. Her celebrity status has helped inspire a new crop of Japanese youngsters. She is also heralded with sparking a revival in interest in the Japan LPGA Tour.

She is perhaps best known in these parts for the sizable media contingent who would travel with her to each event, including at the Ricoh Women's British Open.

A teen sensation, who won on the Japanese Tour whilst still an amateur, Miyazato would amass 59 top-10 finishes on the LPGA, with her latest win coming in 2012.

Despite her prestigious fame, she would never win a major, although she would twice claim the Evian Trophy before it attained major status.

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