Reika Usui’s Triumph Reignites Dreams and Signs of Victory | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Reika Usui’s Triumph Reignites Dreams and Signs of Victory

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Usui with the replica trophy in her hand, greeting the guests.

Shibuno Hinako, Sakura Koiwai, Minami Katsu, Erika Hara, Nasa Hataoka, and now, another heroine has emerged among the ’98-born “golden generation” leading the women’s golf world. Reika Usui (25) achieved her first tour victory at the “AXA Ladies Golf Tournament in MIYAZAKI” held in late March. She was the 14th to bloom among her peers.

On April 13, during an interview, she attended a one-day in-store event for her fashion brand “Cher Classee,” which she designed, held at “Yokohama SOGO.” Her younger sister, Ranze (21), who plans to take the pro test, served as the store manager. Usui supported sales wearing a red dress with sheer legs and a champion blazer. As a bonus for purchasing items, customers could pose for commemorative photos holding a replica trophy, contributing to sales.

Although she was lagging behind her peers who had already won, signs of victory had quietly emerged since the beginning of the year.

“Even though I hadn’t done it in the past 10 years, I suddenly scored two hole-in-ones. I felt like something was different this year,” she said, indicating that she had ridden the wave of a positive flow.

It wasn’t just about riding a good flow. Before the start of this season, she focused on physical transformation through training, increasing her weight by 4 kilograms and reducing her body fat percentage by 1.5%.

“I didn’t want to post about my efforts on social media. I only wanted to show the sparkling parts… because that’s how I look! There were many critics.”

Like other female professional golfers, despite striving for victory daily, when unable to win, Usui’s heart was wounded by hurtful words.

“You don’t look like a sportswoman.”

“You’re not training.”

Seeing such critical words, Usui commented, “I’m not the type to train. Maybe it’s not what’s expected,” and deliberately avoided posting on social media. However, she recently realized, “Has the number of critics decreased since winning?”

Usui when she won the Axare Ladies. She was secretly hurt, worried, and trained hard to win her first crown.

Even though the words seemed equally heartless on the surface, the words of the junior sister with whom she had competed and polished together deeply resonated in her heart. When she achieved her first victory, she received a congratulatory phone call via smartphone from across the sea.


“You’re not the type to win, so what are you doing?!”

The person on the video call was Mone Inami (24), a silver medalist in the Tokyo Olympics and currently competing in the US LPGA tour. On the smartphone screen, her best friend had been wiping tears in the moving car. Though it seemed like a joking remark, the two shared a special bond akin to siblings.

“It’s the best compliment Moeno could give me. It made me realize that she cares about me. The fact that she finds my stubbornness cute,” she said, tearfully accepting the congratulations. Inami is a year junior at the Japan Wellness Sports University.

“Mone is technically my junior, but it feels like I’m the one looking after her.”

During practice rounds, Usui received instructions on medalist techniques, and she joked, “When I can’t do it the way she taught me, she says, ‘Listen to me! Seriously!’ and gets mad.” She also talked about her junior’s challenges on the US tour.

“When I was in sixth grade, I participated in the World Junior tournament, and I thought about my future overseas. But I realized that you need really good results to make it there, after becoming a pro and facing reality.”

It was a dream she had almost given up on.

“I didn’t enter the US qualifying tournament due to ranking reasons, but I want to challenge foreign tournaments. Not necessarily all of them, but I want to experience that atmosphere with other players (Japanese players who are active overseas) and foreign players, even if it’s just one game.”

With this victory, her childhood dream has reignited.

Her younger sister, Ranyo (left), is also aiming for the professional test this year.
I wonder how many times I will wear the champion blazer in the future. I am looking forward to it.
Wearing a red dress with see-through legs adds a touch of elegance.

◆Reika Usui, 25, was born on December 7, 1998. Born in Kanuma City, Tochigi Prefecture. Graduated from Japan Wellness Sports University. Belongs to Free. 10 years from the age of 3, she studied ballet, voice lessons, jazz dance, and musicals to become a Takarazienne. Influenced by her grandfather, she started playing golf at the age of 9 and passed the professional test in 2018. She is a member of the JLPGA 90th flower class, the same age as Mone Inami, Hinako Shibuno, and Erika Hara, and is also a member of the golden generation born in 1998. She is also a member of the golden generation born in 1998. She is 158 cm tall and weighs 51 kg. Her nickname is “Reichieru”.

  • Interview, text, and photographs Shinji Tokari

Photo Gallery5 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles