Emily Pederson with her family
We met Emily Kristine Pedersen during the Open de España Femenino a few weeks ago ahead of the Ping Junior Solheim Cup.
Pedersen, 17, with a +5.2 hcp has been number one on the Points Table following the European Girls Team Championship and therefore, she was the first player to be automatically picked. There were in total six qualifying events and Pedersen won the first one in Mallorca, Spain, and the Allianz German Girls Open and then finished 5th at the European Team qualifying rounds. She is also currently sixth on the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
What do you know about the Ping Junior Solheim Cup? Not, much….I know about the Solheim Cup and I played the Ryder Cup last year in Chicago, and we played 6 girls and 6 boys so I have already some experience to play versus the Americans.
When and why did you start to play golf? I started when I was 10 years old. My father brought me a birthday present for my 10th birthday. 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. The reason that I started to play golf was him at the beginning but not any more…
Who is your golf idol? Annika Sorenstam and I hope to see her there in Colorado.
What have you been doing since the beginning of the year? I study at high school in Copenhagen and I practice in the first golf course where I started to play, which is Smørum Golfcenter (TBC) Golf Club…
Who is coaching you at present? I have 2 coaches, Peter Thomson and the other is David Digmads (TBC), both are swing coaches.
How do you practice in the winter? We normally practice indoor golf, hitting a ball into a net but also we have practice camps each year, in Florida and Spain.
How do you combine golf and studies? I go to a sports school where people can easily combine both and teachers make it easier. When I am not in school, because I am away 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 keep focus on them. I’d rather concentrate on my goals than constantly thinking of the score.
Your plans? 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. But 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 then, they told me about it. That is when I thought I also wanted to play.
Was the Ping Junior Solheim Cup in your plans when you started the year? It was a goal for me to qualify to play the Ping Junior Solheim Cup, so I was very happy to win the qualification and to be part of the team.
Is Denmark now where golf is 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. Iben Tinning is one of the reasons to make this growth possible.
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 few other tournaments on the Nordea Tour.
What’s the difference when playing professional events? All of the players here are very good and you have to play really good to make the cut and to be at the top. The level is much higher.
Do you see yourself playing in the LET? Yes, I hope so.
And what about the Olympics, Rio 2016… do you think of it? Well, it is the same year when I finish high school, 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) and became the new best amateur player in Europe.