The golf fan who went viral on social media on Sunday evening at the Masters has been identified as a Texas Tech cheerleader. Aaliyah Kikumoto, 19, broke the internet after a video featuring her smiling behind golfers Brooks Koepka and winner Jon Rahm at the Masters was shared by a TikToker.
Kikumoto, a cheerleader for Texas Tech, was watching the Augusta National golf tournament with her father, Charles, over the weekend when she appeared on TV screens as cameras focused on Koepka and Rahm of the United States and Spain at the 16th hole. And in no time the video went viral, with users scrambling for her name.
Social Media Sensation
Kikumoto's face went viral on social media after a TikTok user DoubleBogeys posted a short clip of her with the description, "Somehow I feel in love with someone I only saw for 15 seconds."
The teenager is seen towards the beginning of the video looking tense before smiling as Cantlay proceeds to line up his drive. The snippet has received over 260,000 likes and had over 3.5 million views as of this writing.
One commenter made reference to Ohio State football player Catherine Gurd, who gained notoriety earlier this year for appearing stressed at the College Football Playoff semifinal between Georgia and Ohio State, saying, " Legit said, 'she's gonna be the new ohio state girl' as I was watching live."
Another person said, "Bro, I thought I was the only one."
"Thts me," Aaliyah wrote in the video's comments section after some time.
Grace Charis, the rising golf social media influencer couldn't believe it. "OMG, it is you," Charis wrote with a crying laughing emoji.
Charles and A.J. Kikumoto, Kikumoto's parents, appeared to be enjoying their daughter's moment as they responded to countless tweets on Sunday. "YAY!!! Repping Texas Tech!!! Go TTU Poms!!!! So proud of my hubby @CharlesKikumoto and TTU Poms daughter Aaliyah!!!!," A.J. wrote.
Charles, sporting a Texas Tech hat, gained some recognition of his own after being mentioned in multiple social media posts.
"[E]njoying easter at the masters with my TTU pom squad hat on," he wrote. "Our daughter Aaliyah has the green masters hat on and goes to Tech. Wreck em!"
On Monday, Aaliyah jumped into the fray with an Instagram post. "thank you Ho. 16 #themastersgirl #themasters," she wrote, wearing the same green Masters hat she was captured wearing on the CBS broadcast.
Kikumoto is a native of Colorado. She attended Rock Canyon High School on the outskirts of Denver where she grew up. She is one of six siblings.
The dancer is described as a 2022â2023 member of Texas Tech's Pom team. The Texas college student went to Augusta for the competition, along with her father Charles.
Given that Kikumoto's mother used to dance for the NBA's Denver Nuggets Dancers, it is obvious that cheerleading runs in her family. Loveland now works as a judge for dance competitions and a children's book author.
Charles, her father, is an executive with the Colorado office of insurance brokers Moreton & Company and is a graduate of Brigham Young University. He formerly served on the finance committee for his state's Republican Party, the Utah Republican Party.
It is unclear if Kikumoto will compete in the PGA Championship, the next big event, in May.
She is America's first major viral heartthrob after Catherine Gurd, aka the Peach Bowl girl, who became an overnight sensation in January.
A short video of the lacrosse player from Xavier University that TikTok developer Hayden Sheppard posted with the caption, "Someone find me this girl from Ohio State... for the love of god," went viral.
She can be seen watching the game closely from the crowd as the camera pans to her, holding her hands in a prayer position on her lips.
The number of views for Sheppard's video exceeded 3.4 million.