The cardboard cutouts of Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational defending champions, Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura are a nice touch at Midland Country Club. But golf fans from the Tri-Cities Region of central Michigan don’t need a photo to distinguish the duo. Their hats featuring the italicized “All In” centered on the front stand out in a crowd.
“’All In’ all start with Cydney. It was her idea,” said Suwannapura, a two-time LPGA Tour winner. “I like it too. Feedback from people two years ago was like, ‘Oh, I want that hat.’ I had been telling Cydney that maybe you start a business somewhere with the ‘All In’ hat. A lot of people want it.
“’All In’ can be a lot of things. Emotionally, you want to be all in a tournament. I feel like with this [team] name, I am pretty pumped. We are both all in on every shot, every putt, everything we do. We are 100% all in.”
It’s a motto selected by Clanton for this specific team event, but its origins trace back to her college days at Auburn University.
“Auburn did a campaign when I was in school and it was ‘Family All In.’ Once you step foot on campus, it is kind of family,” said Clanton, who became a Rolex First-Time Winner with the victory in 2019. “Two years ago, I wanted to be present wherever my feet were and I wanted to be all in on which tournament I was in because I was bouncing between Epson and LPGA [Tours]. The slogan for my year was ‘All In.’ I didn’t want to be concerned about should I be here or there.
“It’s kind of funny. Made some hats a couple years ago, wore them and people loved them. We get the all in on poker, is it a poker thing or what is it. People like it for different reasons. Some people like it for the poker and some because it’s our [team] name. We want to be ‘All In’ wherever we are.”
In 2019, Clanton and Suwannapura finished the inaugural team event at 27-under par overall. Returning to Midland, Mich. two years later and seeing the marketing of the tournament around town has been a unique, but exhilarating experience.
“It’s new for me because I’ve never seen myself as a [card]board [cutout] traveling around Michigan or Midland,” Suwannapura laughingly said. “I saw a couple pictures where they brought my board and her board around, taking pictures and promoting the tournament. It’s fun to see. And then Cydney’s friend and my friends have taken selfies with the board and say like, ‘Where are you? Are you here?’ It’s fun.”
For Clanton, there is a special meaning behind the return to the site of her first LPGA Tour win.
“Oh, man, I was driving up here from Toledo and I’m like, ‘I think that’s a billboard with my face on it.’ As we drove by there were multiple [billboards], so it was funny driving and seeing that,” Clanton said. “The first thing I got Monday morning were multiple selfies of people taking pictures with the cardboard and their arm around it. I don’t know if it’s the team dynamic but everyone has been like, ‘Oh, the defending champs.’ It’s fun. Kind of funny to see.”
As they attempt to defend their title, the gameplan won’t be much different for Team All In.
“I know that there was very little thought in why we played the golf course the way we did. It really had come down to two holes that were a little bit longer for Jasmine and a little bit easier for me because of the length, and that was really the only decision why we played even or odd holes,” said Clanton. “I think our biggest thing was just playing each other’s game. It was not to do anything different because of me and I didn’t do anything different because of her. Whatever you feel comfortable with, don’t try to do anything you’re not comfortable with. That’s one thing that we did really well executing in 2019.”