Nancy Ramsbottom has felt her move while standing on the tee. Usually, it's just a little punch here or a tiny kick there. She's still waiting for an all-out thud.
Ramsbottom is six months pregnant with her first child, who has begun tap dancing inside while her mother walks along the fairways of the LPGA Tour.The baby hasn't bothered Ramsbottom, who was within three shots of the lead after three rounds of the $600,000 Corning Classic. Due in September, the baby will be named Abby.
"I haven't had her kick in the middle of a shot yet," Ramsbottom said Saturday after a 4-under-par 68. "She seems to know when to stay still."
Ramsbottom, 33, has needed to make a few adjustments with her game. For example, she normally putts by leaning well over the ball and allowing her arms to dangle over her stance. Now her belly is in the way.
"I've never putted as well as I have this week," she said.
Nancy Lopez, who has 47 victories and three children, won the Sara Lee Classic while she was 51/2 months' pregnant with her third daughter, Torri Heather, in 1991.
Ramsbottom did not qualify for the U.S. Women's Open next week and is planning to play in the Oldsmobile Classic June 6-9 before leaving the tour. She plans to return by January.
"You really have to take your time," Lopez said. "It takes your body nine months to have a baby, and it takes a while for everything to get back to normal because everything has shifted. You really have to take care of yourself."
Ramsbottom has experienced the usual quirks of pregnancy - like cravings for powdered sugar doughnuts - but they have been limited. It's not like she starts bawling over a missed 4-footer.
The rolling hills along the 6,062-yard golf course at Corning Country Club and a hot sun are enough to tire out most members of the gallery, let alone a mother to be. And she always knows where the bathrooms are located.
"Each day, I find that my feet hurt so bad from walking 18 holes that I'm not doing any other exercising," Ramsbottom said. "This is enough. All I want to do is put my feet up."