Helsinki, Finland, 25th August 2010: After the arrival of her first child five months ago, Finland’s Minea Blomqvist is hoping to make a dramatic comeback in front of the home galleries at the Finnair Masters this week.
The 25-year-old claimed her second and most recent victory on the Ladies European Tour at Helsinki Golf Club two years ago, but has not made a cut on either the LET or the US LPGA Tour since the arrival of her son, Elmeri, on 31st March. She believes that this could be the week to come back with a bang and score a top ten, on a course she knows well having competed every year since the tournament’s inception in 2005.
Blomqvist, the 2004 Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year on the LET, is back to fitness and will have her partner Roope Kakko on hand to help out with babysitting duties. In fact, she will have a full team of family on hand to help give her the best possible chance of success.
Blomqvist is hungry for a third title and she will have been able to draw on the advice of around a dozen other professional golfers on the Ladies European Tour who are mothers.
They include her friend and fellow Finn Ursula Wikstrom, who was the runner-up to Blomqvist after an exciting final round battle at the Finnair Masters two years ago.
Wikstrom, 30, has a three-year-old son, Erni, but is still waiting for her first LET title and this week provides a terrific opportunity for her.
Another successful golfer and mother is Virginie Lagoutte-Clement from France, who won last week’s Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield Links.
The 31-year-old from Montelimar brings her two-year-old daughter Victoria to golf tournaments while her husband Sebastien caddies. The arrangement works well because the other French golfers take delight in acting as babysitter’s for the well-behaved youngster.
Lagoutte-Clement’s recent success follows that of Scotland’s Catriona Matthew at the Ricoh Women’s British Open last year, when she won her first career major 11 weeks after the birth of Sophie.
Another player who has successfully combined competing with raising a family is Swede Carin Koch. After the birth of her first son Oliver in 1998 she went on to claim her first title on the LET at the 2000 Chrysler Open and her first in America at the 2001 LPGA Corning Classic. She then won again at the 2005 Corona Morelia Championship after the arrival of her second son, Simzon, in 2003.
Other mums on Tour whom Blomqvist will have learned from include Spain’s Paula Marti, who has a three-year-old son called Izan and is expecting her second child; as well as Denmark’s Iben Tinning, whose son Mads arrived in 2006.
Recently married Johanna Johansson, (née Westerberg), is a new mother with a strong chance of success in Finland. The 32-year-old Swede gave birth to eight month old Leo in late December and returned to action in June at the ABN AMRO Ladies Open. She knows the Helsinki course well having finished as the runner-up in 2007.
Recent mothers also include Italian Diana Luna, whose daughter Elena arrived on 28th April, England’s Samantha Head, whose daughter Amy arrived on 6th April, Austrian Natascha Groschadl Fink, who recently had a son called Pauli and Spain’s Marina Arruti, whose first son Mark was born on 11th September 2009. Meanwhile, Germany’s Martina Eberl is expecting her first child in November.
Ludivine Kreutz of France has struggled since her daughter, Julia, was born on 17th February 2009, however combining motherhood with travelling the world as a professional golfer is not easy.
Despite this, as highlighted above, the Ladies European Tour players are showing that with support and organisation, they can combine motherhood with a successful career in golf.