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!