Interview with Nana Suganuma, the hottest idol golfer of 2012: “Of course, my goal for this year is to become the Money Winner! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Interview with Nana Suganuma, the hottest idol golfer of 2012: “Of course, my goal for this year is to become the Money Winner!

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Last year, he won his first Tour title, and his prize money surpassed 100 million yen!
He talked about everything from his “obsession with bangs” to his “love for Nogizaka46” and “secrets to putting.

The temperature at the time of shooting was 5 degrees Celsius. She said, “It’s so cold,” but as soon as we pointed the camera at her, she broke into a big smile. She is truly an idol!

I had a hard time because my hands were shaking. …… but I was able to hit it straight and the strength was just right. It’s weird for me to say this, but I’m a pro at it (laughs).

Nana Suganuma, 23, a professional golfer who won the NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament last August for the first time after a playoff, reflected on her final birdie putt.

I am good at putting. When I am in good shape, I am confident that I can make it even if the distance is far away. It was the same at the Masters GC in October when I won my second tournament.

The birdie putt at No. 7 on the first day was about 10 meters long, but I felt like it was going in. I told my caddie, “Oh, it’s going in. I said to my caddie, ‘Oh, it’s going in,’ and it went in. When you can’t see it, you can’t see the line at all, even at 3 meters. ……

Suganuma made her professional debut in 2006, but while her peers Hinako Shibuno (25) and Mone Inami (24) were enjoying great success, she was one step away from winning the championship. However, last season, she marked two wins in a row. He attributes his leap forward to his “growth in terms of feelings.

I think the confidence I gained by winning the playoffs in Karuizawa led to the second win. I have always been a very moody person. When things don’t go well, I get frustrated with myself and sometimes fight with my caddie (laughs). (Laughs.) Just before I hit a shot, the sound of plastic bags being rubbed by gallery members bothers me, and it sometimes breaks my concentration. But in the second half of last year, I was so focused that I didn’t even hear that sound. I’ve gotten better at switching between the two, and I don’t get frustrated when I’m playing.

In my next life, I don’t want to be a golfer, I want to be an idol!”

She is 158 cm tall. Born in Tachikawa City, Tokyo, she passed the professional test in 2006 after graduating from Saitama Sakae High School, and made her debut the same year.

Last season, Suganuma spoke the phrase “as if I were an idol” on various occasions. This seems to be Suganuma’s own way of self-control.

I love Nogizaka46 so much that I make my own uchiwa (fans) and go to their live concerts. I especially like and admire Ichinose Misora (20), a fifth-term student. When I played golf with Misora on a YouTube program last February, I was really excited!

Even if I get frustrated while playing, I tell myself, “Idols like Misora-chan don’t get angry in front of customers. Then I naturally calm down and the game goes in the right direction.

At the live concert in December after the season, I had the opportunity to meet all the members of the 5th period. I told the members, “I’m doing my best because I see you working hard,” and they said, “I’m also getting courage from your videos and articles, so let’s both do our best! I was told, ‘I’m also encouraged by your videos and articles, so let’s work hard for each other!'” ……

Her admiration for idols has also influenced her behavior outside of her playing.

Nogizaka gives the best performance in their one-shot live shows. Behind their performances, there must be a lot of blood-soaked effort, but they don’t show it to us, their fans. That’s why I don’t post my practice sessions on SNS, and I don’t want to hide my efforts.

Sometimes I get told by the anti-fans, ‘You should practice,’ but I don’t care. Because they go out of their way to search for my name and come to comment on it, you know? That means they already like me (laughs).

In order to be closer to my idols, I also pay attention to my beauty. During breaks in the game, I put on a lot of sunscreen, I move around with a parasol, and I protect my bangs so that they don’t fall out! (Laughs) Unless I am sick, I never miss signing autographs for fans after games.

Thanks to her fan service, sales of “Nana Suganuma cheering goods,” such as acrylic stands, have been strong.

All the proceeds are donated to the Japan Para Sports Association. I am one of the athletes who has a disease called ‘plasiphobia,’ which prevents me from riding public transportation. I hope I can support athletes who are involved in para-sports.”

Last season, when she won two races, her total prize money surpassed 100 million yen for the first time in her career.

I can’t take public transportation, so I often drive my father’s or caddie’s car to matches, but I like to drive by myself, so I bought a Lexus! I guess to people on the street, it looks like a daughter borrowing her parent’s car (laughs).”

Although both his “thrusting life” and his golf game are smooth sailing, he is by no means satisfied with the status quo.

My driver accuracy is still inconsistent, and I still have issues to work on. Miyu Yamashita, 22, the prize money queen, is a golfer with no flaws. She is really good at everything! Even when she makes bogey, she never loses heart and has the strength of mind to never hit a down ball. I also want to be a versatile golfer like Mimu-chan, rather than a “one trick fits all” type of golfer who specializes in approach and putting.

Behind the idol-like smile, there is a hint of ambition to reach for the heights of success.

Her ambition for the 2012 season is to become the “Money Champion.

Last year I won two tournaments, so this year I would like to win three tournaments. You may think I’m being modest, but I think it’s more important to stay in the top half of the standings than to focus on the number of wins, in order to become the queen of the money.

In the world of women’s golf, where new stars are born every year, Suganuma is probably aiming to become the “perfect and ultimate idol.

A shot from her second win. She said, “The last putt was easy. It was like, ‘Oh, something went in’ (laughs).”

From the January 19, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interviewer Ryo Koshino

    Author of golf manga "Bounce Back

  • PHOTO Masaki Fujioka

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