Golf for Women magazine this month has an article about Paula Creamer's love of fashion. The photo above is from the article. Check out the shoes. They add about 8 inches to Paula's height. They look like the spaceboots worn by members of Kiss. Read the article.
Perhaps the most surprising thing I've seen in the lead-up to the 2008 U.S. Women's Open is that Se Ri Pak is in the second group off on Thursday morning, playing with Jill McGill and Kelli Kuehne. Way to disrespect one of the greats of the game, USGA!
The lovely and talented Se Ri deserves better. And "talented" is a bit of an understatement, isn't it? She's a U.S. Open champion, a five-time major winner, a Hall of Famer, one of the all-time greats. And the fact that Se Ri is one of the nicest people out there, well, that shouldn't be overlooked, either.
And I mean no disrespect to McGill or Kuehne, whom I admire as fine players, fine professionals and fine people. But between them they have only a handful of wins, no majors. Se Ri has been struggling this year, and it's as if, with this grouping, the USGA is saying, "here, let's put her with two other players who have no chance of winning."
Shame on you, USGA. Se Ri Pak deserves better.
Christina Lecuyer is one of the "final four" on "Big Break: Kaanapali," airing on the Golf Channel. The Edmonton, Ontario, native played collegiately at the University of Central Arkansas. She had some good showings on The Cactus Tour (a Phoenix/Scottsdale-based tour) earlier in the year, including fourth- and sixth-place finishes. She's also played a few Futures Tour events in 2008, with non-exempt status on that tour.
Tina Miller's focus is on golf. She's looking forward to LPGA Q-School at the end of the year. And this week she is taking part in the CVS Charity Classic in Rhode Island.
But out of the corner of her eye, Tina is also looking at modeling. And why not? The Golf Channel chose to end its "Big Break: Kaanapali" intro with a shot of bikini-clad Tina emerging from a swimming pool. Tina has the "it" factor.
The photo above is from one of Tina's first photo sessions unrelated to golf, as she continues building her portfolio.
In the meantime, Tina and husband-to-be Rhys Lloyd (NFL placekicker with the Carolina Panthers) continue planning their wedding. The location has been chosen and a date in February 2009 selected.
Say hello to the women of Highway 18 (from left to right): Ashleigh Korzack, Ashley Davis, Keri Murphy, Jameica Duncombe and Charlotte Campbell.
What is Highway 18? It's the newest "reality golf" series from the Golf Channel, and it premieres on July 22. It will air for 10 episodes in the 10 p.m. (ET) time slot on Tuesday nights.
Think of it as "The Amazing Race" for golfers. The Golf Channel explains "the contending teams ... will race down Florida's highways, fairways and byways spanning more than 1,000 miles over 10 weekly episodes. The contestants will compete in challenges both on and off the course that will demand cooperation and ingenuity in order to survive elimination."
As for each episode's format:
Each episode of Highway 18 will feature three sets of golf challenges: a Start Challenge, a Road Challenge and a Clubhouse Challenge. Murphy will kickoff each episode by revealing the Start Challenges to the contestants, ranging from tests of skill or trivia on golf courses, beaches or a swamp.
Road Challenges can comprise either quick stops – such as target practice at a highway driving range – or well-known, but non-traditional settings, including Daytona International Speedway, Florida Field and Donald Trump’s ultra-exclusive Mar-a-Largo Club.
Clubhouse Challenges will take place at various golf destinations, ranging from famous championship venues – including TPC Sawgrass, Innisbrook and Trump International Golf Club – to municipal facilities off the beaten path. Teams will be eliminated if they finish last in two clubhouse challenges (double elimination).
Keri Murphy is familiar to Golf Babes readers as the video host on GolfNow.com. The other women pictured above are the four female contestants on the series. (There are guy contestants, too, but hey, this ain't Golf Dudes!).
We'll be featuring each of these contestants and telling you more about them as the premiere date draws closer. For now, watch the video trailer.
The image above is from the Brooks Brothers Country Club Collection catalog. Taylor Leon recently signed with Brooks Brothers, becoming the first LPGA golfer to have an endorsement deal with the clothier.
Ms. Leon will not only represent the brand on the course but also will make her debut in the Brooks Brothers Country Club Spring 2008 catalog, which features her in a variety of active looks, notably from the recently launched ProSport range within the Brooks Brothers Country Club collection.
"Taylor is a natural fit for Brooks Brothers," said Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO. "She demonstrates great passion and ability. We are thrilled to have her join our winning team as she embarks on her professional career."
Taylor has non-exempt status this year, her rookie season on the LPGA Tour. Thus far she has gotten into eight tournaments, with a best finish to date of 14th.
Leon was a member of the 2003 U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team and the 2006 U.S. Curtis Cup team. In two seasons at the University of Georgia, she was named All-American both years. She turned pro in 2007, and despite only getting into eight Futures Tour events last year still finished ninth on that tour's money list. She also earned her first professional victory at the 2007 Futures Tour American Systems International.
Your name is Onnarin, but everyone calls you "Moo." Where does Moo come from?
"Moo" is my nickname in Thai. Here is the thing: For Thai people, we get our nickname when we are born and you go by it on regular basis (unless we have to use our given name formally on a government document). When I was born, my cheek was chubby and pink, so my mom called me "Moo," which means "little pig" in Thai. How awesome is that? Well, my chubby cheek hasn’t gone away yet - my body, too! Ha ha.
You told a funny story on your blog about another nickname, "Zippie." Will you share that story with us?
Sure, it was pretty embarrassing at the time, but now it's pretty funny every time that I think about it.
Last year (2007), during my first year on the Futures Tour, I played in Lafayette, La., and I decided to try on my new shorts that I brought from Thailand. Things were going well until I ran to the bathroom right before I started warming up for the first round.
Suddenly, my zipper jammed and didn't work anymore. I was having some crazy talk with myself and the zipper in the bathroom for awhile, hoping that it would go back to working again. Unfortunately, it never did.
So, I left the bathroom and went to the Futures Tour mobile office to ask them for some kind of material to seal my shorts. So, I got a quick laugh from the rules officials in the room, then they found me some safety pins and duct tape to help me survive the windy round in Louisiana.
During the round, I had to be very careful with my posture because if I would bend too much the wind would open all the duct tape since it was loosening after I used the restroom during the round.
So, I told the story to my buddy, Stephanie Ruiz, who I traveled with last year. About the broken zipper and how awkward it was for me on the golf course. And she started calling me "Zippie."
You are non-exempt on the LPGA Tour this year, which means that you don't always know for sure until the last minute whether you'll be playing on the LPGA or the Futures Tour in any given week. How difficult is that to deal with, in terms of travel arrangements, preparation, etc.?
It's quite difficult for me to make plans for where, when and what I have to do each week because I never know exactly when I'll get into the LPGA events. However, I've been blessed to have my friend, Russy (Gulyanamitta), who used to have non-exempt status, give me rough estimates for my chances to get into the tournaments on the LPGA Tour each week.
It seems to me that there are a lot more golfers from Thailand coming to play college golf in the U.S., and starting to show up on the major tours (yourself and Russy, for example). Does Tiger Woods' Thai heritage and the tournaments he played in Thailand early in his career have anything to do with the growth of golf in Thailand, or are other factors at work?
I would say that Tiger Woods played a huge part to influence not only Thai golfers' interest in coming for college golf, but he also made a big impact on youth worldwide. I remember that I used to think about golf being a sport for old people to play, but once I saw him on the TV back before I started playing golf, I got a totally different perspective about the game of golf. Then, I got hooked on the game once my dad took me to get the first lesson with him when I was about 12 years old.
Your degree from Purdue is in Organizational Leadership & Supervision. Does that mean you'd be a great boss?
I don't know if I will be a great boss, but I'm sure enough that I can be pretty good boss for myself. At least, I haven't heard any complaints from "Zippie" yet!
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Amber Prange is one of the newest golfers in the stable of Play Golf Designs, the Las Vegas-based company that does event management and pairs up professional golfers with corporate clients, company outings and the like.
Amber is in her rookie season as a tour professional. She's playing on the Futures Tour after completing her collegiate career at the University of Washington. She had seven Top 10 finishes with the Huskies, and was a two-time All-Pac 10 honorable mention selection.
(And yes, Amber is the sister of Ashley Prange.)
Continuing our series on the "Wilhelmina 7," this is Anna Grzebien. A 2007 graduate of the powerful Duke University women's golf team, Anna has non-exempt status on the LPGA Tour in 2008, her rookie year.
Anna won three team championship in college with Duke (2005-07). In 2005, she was the individual NCAA champion, and was named National Player of the Year for that season. She also won the Massachussetts Women's Open and the New England Women's Open in both 2006 and 2007.
And she'll be playing in the U.S. Women's Open this year after earning a berth in sectional qualifying earlier this week.
The biggest name among the "Wilhelmina 7" is Stacy Prammanasudh. Stacy P has two wins on the LPGA since joining the Tour in 2004, and has moved up the money list each year. Last year, she finished 14th. And at one point in the early part of 2007, one could make an argument that she was the best American female golfer. She was a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team last year, too.
So far in 2008, Stacy has three Top 10 finishes in 12 starts.
Continuing our series on the Wilhelmina 7: Minea Blomqvist. Did you know that Minni shares the record for lowest round ever posted in a major championship (men's or women's)? And that she posted that score first? Yep, Blomqvist shot a 62 in the 2004 Women's British Open, a record later tied by Lorena Ochoa, and a score not yet posted by anyone in any of the men's majors.
Blomqvist, who is Finnish, was once asked in a "Quick 18" interview on LPGA.com:
3. Is there anything you won't eat?
Oh, I eat everything, but there is one food that doesn't go down "makasalaatikko". I don't know what that is in English.
We don't know what that is in English either. And from the sound of things, we don't want to know.
Minni turned pro in 2003 and had two strong seasons on the Ladies European Tour (rookie of the year, 2004; second on money list, 2005) before earning LPGA status in 2006. She has five international victories, but hasn't won yet in the U.S. She's off to a strong start in 2008, however, with three Top 10s, including a third and a fifth, and as of this writing is 22nd on the money list (through the Ginn Tribute).
More Minea Blomqvist pics
Our Wilhelmina 7 post of the day is Mikaela Parmlid. It makes sense that Wilhelmina would want to sign Mikaela - she's a player who always makes interesting (and sometimes unusual) fashion choices).
Mikaela is a Swede who played collegiate golf at the University of Southern California. She studied economics and graduated in 2003 - the same year she won the NCAA individual championship and USC won the team championship.
Mikaela's rookie season on the LPGA Tour was 2004, when she had non-exempt status. She has maintained membership since then, finishing 86th and 84th on the money in 2006 and 2007, respectively. She is 95th so far on the 2008 money list, through 11 events.
Check out her Web site.
Kim Hall is one of the "Wilhelmina 7," or W7, the group of seven LPGA Tour golfers who've signed with Wilhelmina Artist Management, a division of the famed Wilhelmina Models agency.
Kim is a graduate of Stanford, where she majored in American Studies, and where she was a three-time all-conference selection. She first earned non-exempt LPGA status in 2006. Last year, 2007, was her first year as a fully exempt member of the tour, a designation she maintains in 2008.
Last year Kim finished 76th on the money list, and had one Top 10 finish. Her second career Top 10 came earlier this year at the MasterCard Classic in Mexico. Kim's scoring average is down more than half a stroke so far in 2008 compared to 2007, and she ranks in the Top 20 in fairways through this point in the season.
What is - or are - the "Wilhelmina 7"? The W7 is a group of seven LPGA Tour golfers who have signed with Wilhelmina Artist Management, a division of Wilhelmina Models. And Wilhelmina Models, of course, is one of the most-famous modeling agencies in the world.
Wilhelmina Artist Management will "seek out sponsorship and endorsement opportunities for the women as a whole package and individually." The "Wilhelmina 7" are Minea Blomqvist, Sandra Gal, Anna Grzebien, Kim Hall, Johanna Head, Mikaela Parmlid and Stacy Prammanasudh.
WAM states that the "W7 includes only those women with the game, the beauty and the personality to create a major presence in women’s sports, both on and off the course."
Said Wilhelmina chairman Dieter Esch: “We created this initiative to complete a void in the marketplace for beautiful and athletically talented female golfers. With only initial conversations to the corporate world, the reception is already tremendous for potential partnerships.”
Beautiful and athletically talented female golfers? Hey, that's what we're all about here at Golf Babes! So over the next few days we'll post a few photos of the W7, photos provided by Wilhelmina Artist Management. Stay tuned.
The Natalie pic above is one featured on the Natalie Gulbis profile page over at AskMen.com. And kudos to our friends at AskMen.com (who once featured Golf Babes as their "Site of the Day") for including more golfers. They have pages now for Paula Creamer, Annika Sorenstam, Anna Rawson and Michelle Wie. And some guy named Tiger Woods. Although personally, I've never considered him very attractive.
Click on the labels below to view more of these golfers on Golf Babes.
When the final round of the Ginn Tribute began, Seon Hwa Lee was nine shots off the lead. When it ended, she was the champion.
Here's something I wouldn't have guessed: Before Seon Hwa's win on Sunday, it had been 26 tournaments since a Korean golfer won on the LPGA Tour. That golfer was ... Seon Hwa Lee. She won last year's match play tournament.