“My dream is to be the best in the world”
We met Emily Kristine Pedersen during the Open de España femenino a few weeks ahead of the PING Junior Solheim Cup.
|Emily Pedersen, Denmark, # 1 on the European Amateur Women's Ranking
Pedersen, 17, with a +5.2 hcp, was #1 on the PING Junior Solheim Cup Points Table following the European Girls Team Championship and therefore she qualified automatically to represent Europe. There were in total 6 qualifying events and she won the first one, the Spanish Amateur Championship, and the Allianz German Girls and she finished 5th at the European Team Championship Qualifying. She is also #6 on current World Amateur Golf Rankings http://www.wagr.com/
What do you know about the PING Junior Solheim Cup? I know about The Solheim Cup and I played the Junior Ryder Cup last year in Chicago, and we played 6 girls and 6 boys so I have already some experience to play against the Americans.
When and why did you start to play golf? I started when I was 10 years old. My father brought me golf clubs for my 10th Anniversary. He plays golf and we live just outside Copenhagen. At 12 I had a new coach and he contacted the National Team coach. He wanted to see me and then I got in the National Team. The first time I represented Denmark was 2009.
Who is your golf idol? Annika Sorenstam and I hope to see her in Colorado.
What have you been doing since the beginning of the year? I study at a high school in Copenhagen and I practice at the golf course where I started to play, which is Smørum Golfcenter.
Who is coaching you at present time? I have 2 coaches, Peter Thomson and David Digmads, both Swing Coaches.
How do you practice in the winter? We normally practice in-door golf, hitting a ball into a net, but we also have practice camps each year, in Florida and Spain.
How do you combine golf and studies? I go to a Sports School where students easily combine sport and studies and teachers makes it easy for us. When I am not in school, because I am playing a tournament, I can get extra lessons.
What’s the best part of your game? My long game is really good and steady. I think I am also good at focusing and to have goals on the golf course. I manage to focus on my goals. I’d rather concentrate on my goals than constantly thinking of the score.
What are your future goals? I will finish high school in 3 years and then, hopefully, if I am good enough, I would like to turn professional and if not, I think I will go to College in America. My dream is to be the best in the world.
When did you find out there was an international event called the PING Junior Solheim Cup? I think it was in 2009, and I was in the National team and two other girls from Denmark played in 2007 and they told me about the event. That’s when I decided I also wanted to try to play in the tournament.
Was the PING Junior Solheim Cup in your plans when you started the year? It was one of my goals to qualify to the PING Junior Solheim Cup so I was very happy to win the qualification and being part of the team.
Is golf in Denmark growing? How many Danish players are in the top of the World Amateur Rankings? Yes, it is. We won the Qualification at the European Team Championship by 31 shots difference. Iben Tinning (former Solheim Cup player and LET player) is one of the people responsible for the growth.
Any plans this year to play other professional events? I got an invitation to play one of the LETAS events and I will probably play it, depending on the schedule. I have already played another LETAS event in Sweden this season and a few other tournaments on the Nordea Tour.
What’s the difference when playing professional events? All of the professional players are very good and you have to play really good to make the cut and to be in the top. The level here is much higher.
Do you see yourself playing in the LET? Yes, I hope so.
And what about Olympics, Rio 2016… do you think of it? Well, I graduate from high school the same year, so I could be there, who knows….If I am good enough it could be so much fun.
After this interview Emily Kristine Pedersen went to Finland to play the International European Ladies' Amateur Championship which took place from 24 to 27 July 2013 at Aura Golf Club (Turku). She won and became the new best Amateur player in Europe.