PITTSFORD, New York (Reuters) - Motherhood agrees with Minea Blomqvist, the 26-year-old Finn who shot her second successive three-under-par 69 on Friday to surge up the leaderboard at the LPGA Championship.
Unexpected lifestyle changes came with the birth of her son Elmo 14 months ago, along with swing adjustments that buoyed Blomqvist, whose family sounds more like a Walt Disney cartoon creation, Finnish style.
After taking time off from golf, Blomqvist hired a new swing coach and the results are now paying off at Locust Hill Country Club in the second women’s major of the year.
“I had a full-time nanny almost a year. So, it was very good. I’m happy,” Blomqvist, who was one shot off the lead late in the second round, told reporters.
“You always think about motherhood, that I can’t make babies yet, and I had to wait (until) I’m in a certain level of golf. But it happened accidentally so I was happy about that.”
Blomqvist and her boyfriend, European Tour player Roope Kakko, decided on a sporty name for their son, naming him after the hero of a sports book series in Finland.
The Finnish player grew animated when asked about the family names.
Her nickname, Minni, is like Minnie Mouse, and Roope is the Finnish name for Donald Duck’s rich Uncle Scrooge, she said.
Blomqvist said Elmo’s birthday was the same as Donald Duck’s, and so they gave the baby boy a middle name of Aku, Finnish for Donald Duck.
Blomqvist said if she has a daughter, she plans on naming her Iines, which is Finnish for Daisy, Donald Duck’s girlfriend.
Her ebullient performance on the course and in the interview room was not the first time Blomqvist has garnered wide attention.
As a 19-year-old, Blomqvist shot a 62 in the third round of the Women’s British Open at the Old Course at Sunningdale for the lowest score ever registered in a major.
Blomqvist, who has five international career victories but none on the LPGA Tour, also won attention for some alluring fashion photographs taken when she was featured by a modeling agency along with other women golfers.
Editing by Frank Pingue