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Blomqvist quite the character

Minea Blomqvist
Getty Images

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – When Minea Blomqvist’s name hit the leaderboard at the Wegmans LPGA Championship Friday, the tournament storylines took some crazy twists and turns.

They turned to Minnie Mouse, Elmo, Scrooge and Donald Duck, and Blomqvist’s humorous Finnish family connections to cartoon characters.

After posting back-to-back 3-under-par 69s to move into contention, Blomqvist detailed how the challenges of rebuilding her game weren’t really related to becoming a first-time mom a little more than a year ago.

But the mention of motherhood set off a colorful tale.

Blomqvist’s 14-month-old son is named Elmo Aku Kakko.

Elmo, of course, is the name of the popular character on the children’s show Sesame Street.

Aku is Finnish for Donald Duck.

“He was born on March 31,” Blomqvist explained. “It’s Donald Duck’s birthday.”

Blomqvist’s boyfriend is a European Tour pro named Roope Kakko.

The name Roope is the Finnish version of Uncle Scrooge in Donald Duck.

Blomqvist, 26, said it made for a comical delivery of her son with family and friends hopeful the baby would be born on Donald Duck’s birthday. With the clock nearing 10 p.m., Blomqvist said pressure mounted.

“It’s Donald Duck’s birthday, try to get it out!” Blomqvist recalled hearing.

Blomqvist literally delivered.

“I couldn’t believe I heard that,” Blomqvist said. 'It's actually funny.'

What would she have named the baby had it been born a girl?

“Iines,” Blomqvist said. “That’s Donald Duck’s girlfriend’s name.”

Backing up, Blomqvist’s son isn’t actually named after the Muppet Elmo. He’s named after a fictional Finnish sports hero who wins everything.

“I told my American caddie that we are going with the name Elmo,” Blomqvist said. “He said, `No, you can’t, that’s kind of a funny name here.’ So, I didn’t even know. When I found out, I’ve been buying all the Elmos [Muppet toys]. I’ve spent thousands of Euros to buy all the Elmos.”

Blomqvist was asked if her son has red hair.

“No, maybe we should color it,” she said. “He has sticky hair. It sticks up.”

Blomqvist’s own name brings to mind Mickey Mouse’s girlfriend as her friends call her “Minni.”

With her unexpected run this week, Blomqvist brought a blast of fresh air to the LPGA Championship. She’s delightfully good humored and candid and totally not self conscious. The Rochester area home where Blomqvist is staying this week learned that quickly. She’s staying with a police officer and his family.

Back at the police station, the officer’s colleagues did a Google search to see exactly who Blomqvist is.

“If you Google ‘Minea Blomqvist,’ you get my bra pictures,” Blomqvist said.

When Blomqvist joined the Wilhelmina 7 agency, she did a modeling gig. Thus, the photos.

“So all of the boys [at the police station] were watching my scores,” Blomqvist said.

On the serious side of her game, Blomqvist is encouraged by the work she’s doing rebuilding her game with swing coach Kevin Smeltz. She’s won two Ladies European Tour events in her career, but nothing since 2008. She’s made just one cut in five LPGA starts this year and missed the cuts in all seven of her LPGA starts last year. She’s playing the tour off the priority list 11 category.

“I’m happy with a 3-under,” Blomqvist said. “I had been struggling, but the last three weeks I’ve been slowly getting better.”

With her sense of humor, with her colorful personality, that’s a good thing for the tour.