OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Mikaela Parmlid came out of retirement so she could play the International Crown this week.
She’s almost six months pregnant.
It’s safe to say nobody else teeing it up in the inaugural international team event has a story quite like Parmlid’s, one of four Swedes looking to take “The Crown” home with them.
“I’m just here to have fun, win some matches and do my best and see where it leads,” Parmlid told GolfChannel.com after visiting the LPGA’s physio trailer Wednesday at Caves Valley Golf Club.
Parmlid, 33, won the NCAA individual championship while at USC in 2003 and played the LPGA circuit for six years before returning home to Sweden to play the Ladies European Tour, where her frustration over failing to make the European Solheim Cup last year led her to decide to retire. She put her clubs away after the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in December and went to work gaining certification as a psychologist/coach, never expecting golf to claim her again.
Back in April, however, Parmlid got a call from the LPGA informing her that she was going to make the Swedish team for the International Crown.
“What is the International Crown?”
Parmlid insists she didn’t know she was within the qualifying standard to make the Swedish team before the LPGA called her.
“I had no clue,” Parmlid said. “I had no clue what this tournament was about, because I had really distanced myself from golf. It had been my life forever, and when I made up my mind to retire, I just said, `I’m going to do something different.’ But when I got off the phone that day, it just changed the way I looked at golf, just like that.”
Parmlid said making the European Solheim Cup team was her dream, and failing yet again to do so frustrated her last year. She said the idea of playing for Sweden in an international team event of the caliber of the International Crown reignited something within her.
“I thought it was amazing,” Parmlid said.
Parmlid, however, said she did not know she was pregnant when she got the call from the LPGA back in April. She said she didn’t learn she was pregnant until three weeks after she qualified for the team.
“I calculated it out right away, that I would be 5½ months pregnant,” Parmlid said. “I knew I’d be fine.”
Parmlid said she knew because she played while pregnant with her first child, Emmy, who is now 3 years old.
“I’ve been playing full time since April,” Parmlid said. “It’s come quickly. I’m playing fine. It’s a little different, but different isn’t always bad. I’m just enjoying this. It’s a unique thing, and it’s motivating. That’s something that was missing for me, motivation.”
Parmlid has played three Ladies European Tour events since learning she made the Swedish team. She has made two cuts, with a tie for 22nd her best finish.
Given her condition, and that she’s coming back from retirement, there have been obvious questions about whether she’s in the best shape to help her team. There have been questions about whether she should have bowed out to give another player a chance. She was asked if her teammates expressed concerns over her readiness.
“I don’t think they’ve been very concerned,” Parmlid said. “I think I’ve been playing some amazing golf.”