Her name is Stacy Prammanasudh, and every week a public-address announcer, television broadcaster or well-meaning pro-am partner mangles it beyond recognition. It will be interesting to see how it's pronounced during the U.S. Women's Open (June 28-July 1) at Pine Needles Lodge Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., especially considering the all-American girl from Tulsa, Okla., just might win the thing.
"It can be pretty bad," says the LPGA Tour pro, who got her exotic last name from her father, Pravat (he goes by Lou), a native of Thailand. "Just say Stacy P. It's easier on everybody."
For the record, it's pronounced PROM-ah-nah-sood, and it's worth remembering. The former University of Tulsa standout won her second LPGA Tour title in February at the Fields Open in Hawaii. She was fourth on the tour money list through April and seems poised to win a major.
Prammanasudh, a self-taught player, met instructor Billy Harmon (Butch's brother) during a practice round at last year's U.S. Women's Open at Newport Country Club in Newport, R.I., where she tied for third. She asked Harmon what he thought of her game.
"I told her I thought she had a chance to become the leading money-winner," Harmon said after evaluating her swing and ambition, borne out of a working-class sense of determination. Her father was a machinist. "You give me a blue-collar kid of equal ability against a rich kid, and it's game over." With Harmon's help, Prammanasudh finished in the top eight in four of her first five starts this season. And don't think people haven't noticed the odd but successful golf combination of having one parent from Thailand and the other from the U.S.
"I look at Tiger, with his mom being Thai, and the discipline that he has," says Pete Upton, Stacy's husband and caddie. "A lot of parents don't recognize the importance of it. They don't realize that you can sometimes beat a player with your mind."