Sarah Jane Smith balances golf game with pregnancy, awaits July due date

Sarah Jane Smith, of Australia, waves to fans after making a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the second round of the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at Shoal Creek, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Butch Dill/Associated Press

Sarah Jane Smith balances golf game with pregnancy, awaits July due date

LPGA Tour

Sarah Jane Smith balances golf game with pregnancy, awaits July due date

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Sarah Jane Smith found out she was pregnant at the CME Group Tour Championship last November. On the fourth hole Sunday, Smith dunked a wedge into the water and with the steep slope, had to place her ball after trying to drop it twice. But before she could get set to hit her next shot, the ball rolled back into the hazard, resulting in another penalty stroke.

“It made me so angry,” said Smith of the unfortunate triple.

Husband Duane, the caddie, wasn’t having it: “Do not get upset with this baby in your belly. We can leave. We don’t have to be here. We can just go home.”

Needless to say, Duane will be doing everything it takes to keep his wife relaxed before their July due date.

The sunny Smiths are headed down to the Vic Open for the start of four consecutive weeks of competition. Sarah Jane feels lucky to have gotten morning sickness out of the way during the offseason.

“Just gonna play for as long as I can and see how we go I think,” she said of their plans.

Many golf fans might have learned of 34-year-old Smith at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, where the Aussie led big after four rounds. Her share of fifth at Shoal Creek earned her a $182,487 paycheck. As they were rushing to the airport, Duane looked over at this wife and said: “Want to have a baby?”

The Smiths are sensible with their money, but after five consecutive missed cuts, Sarah Jane was beginning to wonder if trying to start a family at the end of 2018 was the right thing to do.

The Women’s Open changed that.

“Once you get of a certain age, it becomes a regular question, even among acquaintances,” said Smith of baby conversations on tour.

There were times, Smith said, that the topic hung over her head a little bit.

“I was keeping my card on the LPGA, but I was only getting by,” she said. “Not in a position to start a family. That was a main goal – to be stable enough to start a family. To buy a house and a car and health insurance.”

Now it all seems to be falling into place for Smith, who finished the 2018 season 56th on the money list with $403,652.

New mom Stacy Lewis sent a text after Smith announced her pregnancy, offering support. The Smiths, who met as 11-year-old junior golfers on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, told Lewis that neither have changed a diaper.

“Don’t worry,” said Lewis, “you can change a diaper in Phoenix.”

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