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Prammanasudh shifts focus from golf to starting a family

Life transition
Prammanasudh shifts focus from golf to starting a family

BY NEAL REID

For Stacy Prammanasudh, golf has been her life for as long as she can remember.

These days, the eight-year LPGA veteran is putting her golf clubs aside as she and husband, Pete Upton, prepare for the arrival of their first child in mid-January. Her 2011 season will end at 17 events, and the former University of Tulsa star made the cut in 14 of those, putting $143,916 into her “diaper fund” in the process.

Considering she was swinging for two this year, Prammanasudh is pleased with how the season went.

“There have been some good times and some not-so-great times, but all in all for being pregnant the majority of the season, I can’t complain,” said Prammanasudh, a two-time LPGA Tour winner. “I’ve felt great. I haven’t really been sick, and when I was tired, I didn’t realize I was tired at the time. It’s really been very easy thus far, and I’m done playing now. I’m not going to Asia, so I’ll enjoy five months at home.”

Prammanasudh’s last victory came in 2007, the same year she played in her lone Solheim Cup, and since then she has been struggling to implement swing changes and find her groove.

“When you play well, you expect to do that all the time,” said Prammanasudh, who has more than $3.2 million in career earnings. “So, when you don’t, it kind of gets you down. The last couple years have been a little tough. I’ve been working with a new coach, and we get along well and I like what we’re working on. But, I’m at a point in my life where golf is not the total No. 1 focus for everything.”

Family will be her chief goal from now on, and Prammanasudh said her entire family is excitedly awaiting the arrival of her first child, which will be a boy.

“We’ve gotten the (nursery) all ready since we’ve been home,” Prammanasudh said. “So, I think we’re all set – as long as the kid comes with instructions. We are all very excited. My mom, aunt, sister each made something hand-made for the baby, so everybody’s looking forward to it.”

Prammanasudh has her sights set on returning to the Tour in early 2012.

“I definitely plan on coming back as soon as I can, depending on how the delivery and everything goes,” she said. “Hopefully, my first event back will be Founders, if all goes ideally. We’ll have to play it by ear in the first five or so tournaments, see how I’m playing and then decide if I want to take maternity leave or not. Next year’s kind of up in the air.”

The four-time First-Team All-American said she still enjoys playing on Tour, especially in the LPGA’s tournament in Thailand, from which her father’s side of the family hails. And why not? She enjoyed her first two holes-in-one in Thailand in the same week in 2007 and tied her career-low score of 63 there in 2009.

“The first year, the fans were so overwhelming,” she said of the Thailand event, which was added to the LPGA schedule in 2006. “Golf has grown a lot more in the last five years than it has in the past. Everyone is so welcoming and so supportive, and it’s always a lot of fun to go back and play in my father’s home country and enjoy the food and the people.”

Prammanasudh has several goals for the remainder of her golf career, but said that her family will come first.

“Obviously to play the best golf I can (is my goal),” she said. “More importantly, having the best quality family we can have while still maintaining what we’re doing as far as our lifestyle on the road would be great. When it comes down to it, when my son starts school, that will probably be the end of my career.”

Topics: Player Feature, Prammanasudh, Stacy

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