With a new baby boom hitting the LPGA, Laura Diaz showed all the new mothers and moms-to-be how to do it Friday at the ShopRite Classic.
Diaz, 43, a two-time LPGA winner who is a part-time player now, took the early lead in the morning wave with a 5-under-par 66. She did so with her 12-year-old son, Cooper, on her bag as caddie in her first start this year.
“It’s more special because I have my son with me,” Diaz said. “It’s a calming influence. I spent more time worrying about him.”
It was the lowest round Diaz has posted in four years on tour, but she hasn’t been a full-time player since 2015. This is just her eighth start in the last three seasons. She gave up full-time tour life to become a full-time mom. She also has an 8-year-old daughter, Lilly.
Full-field scores from the ShopRite LPGA Classic
“I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to play 20 to 25 tournaments a year and be on the road,” Diaz said last year.
Moms are making a comeback on tour.
Stacy Lewis, who is playing the ShopRite Classic outside Atlantic City, N.J., this week, is four months pregnant. Suzann Pettersen is due later this fall. Gerina Piller just gave birth to her first child, as did Sydnee Michaels late last year.
Diaz makes her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she is an assistant coach for her son’s JV golf team and where she has done volunteer coaching at her Wake Forest alma mater.
Diaz won both her LPGA titles in 2002. She made it into the field this week through the LPGA winners category.
This is the first time Cooper caddied in an LPGA event. Mom said he did a terrific job, except for remembering to clean her ball.
“Room for improvement,” Diaz said. “I just spit on it all day.”