|Mary Mattson of the United States made her first appearance on the LET Access Series when she teed up in the LETAS Ladies Open at Hazlemere Golf Club in August. Here, the 23-year-old, who is half Norwegian, tells the story of her golfing career so far. |
Mary, where do you come from?
I’m from Washington DC and played Futures Tour qualifying school in November last year and it went okay but I was coaching in the US at Georgetown University so I couldn’t play in a few events and because of that my status wasn’t so good so it dropped a bit. I wanted to play on a tour for a full season and I had some contacts in Sweden. My family is from Norway so I was looking at the Nordea Tour, which is played all in Sweden. I have a contact at Delsjö GC, in Goteborg, so I just came. My grandmother is from Oslo but her best friend lives in Őrebro, just west of Stockholm. So I’m staying in Őrebro for the summer, have bought a car, and loving the experience. I played a full season on Nordea but we had a break this week so I travelled with Monica Christiansen from Denmark here. I came knowing nobody except a guy I knew from school and lived with him the first week. I met girls the first week and have been travelling with a couple. I’ve made many, many friends and had a lot of good experiences.
Why did you come to Europe?
I am totally up for an adventure. I really wanted to travel but also play professional golf so it was a good way to do both. I’m going back to Sweden to play on the Nordea Tour the rest of this season. I’ll be back to play in January and going to Ladies European Tour School so either way hopefully I’ll be playing a full season on the European Tour but either way I’ll be in Europe because I won’t have status in the US. I had status and was exempt through the first stage for LPGA this year but it’s very expensive to do both and I had to choose between the two. I really love it here and having a great experience. I’ll be back next year.
Why did you choose not to attend Final Qualifying for the LPGA?
I was assistant coach at Georgetown University in DC and the head coach left so I was hired as head coach for six months until May. After I finished I flew out to Sweden the next day. I went to Campbell University for four years and graduated in 2010 in Communications Studies and Spanish.
What brought you to Scandinavia in particular?
My dad was born in Oslo. I have never been to Europe until I came in May. I have ties there and when I’m in Sweden I feel at home because that culture is still in our family. I hope to play a full season next year on the LET and eventually end up in the US but I love travelling and part of my goals don’t involve golf. At the moment I’m playing for Delsjö GC and living in Őrebro, Sweden.
How did you get into golf?
I started playing when I was 14. Nobody in my family plays golf. I played a lot of sports, basketball mainly. My friend took me out to play golf and I was 14 and got myself lessons. I played on a public course. I’ve never been a member of a club in the US; I just play public courses and my goal was to get a scholarship. I did that and then turned pro and still here. My family has played two rounds of golf total out of all six of them. My dad was in the military but he was a wrestler. My brother is in the movie business in New York, my sister is a teacher, and my other brother is a lawyer.
What do you enjoy aside from golf and travelling?
I love to read, I love photography, and I love travelling and spending time with people. I try to be balanced. I love learning and seeing new cultures and how people interact. It’s been a real eye-opener for me.
How far does the LET Access Series meet your expectations?
I haven’t played an LPGA event yet but for Futures Tour: it’s the same. Competition is very high and the course is well set-up. It’s very well run and similar to the Futures Tour. I played five rounds at qualifying school and I’ve been to two other events. I caddied and have friends that are there so I’m familiar with how it’s run. I went to Q School and then I was teaching so I didn’t play in any events before I came here. I turned pro September 2010 so this is my rookie season. I’m having a wonderful time and it’s been a great experience.
Do you think more Americans would travel?
There should be more Americans. It’s tricky coming over here and I think it scares some people because they don’t know anybody. People have been very gracious. I’ve been in guest houses and I was blessed with finding friends at the first tournament. I think they respected that I came. That helps me out with the language and not knowing anything. I’m learning some Swedish but not enough to have a conversation. Being on my own, I don’t have my coaches here so I having to learn a lot about my own game. As far as the tour goes it’s high, high quality.
Mary Mattson Bio:
Hometown Ijamsville, Md.
Birth Date 5/15/1988
College Campbell University
Degree Communication Studies & Spanish
Career highlights • Qualified for the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, • Competed in three U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championships (2004, 2009, 2010),• Recorded 21 top-10 finishes, including two wins, in collegiate competition while at Campbell University, • Four-time Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic Team selection (2007-2010),• 2007 Atlantic Sun All-Conference Second Team selection, • Four-time Atlantic Sun All-Conference First Team selection (2007-2010),• Named the 2010 Campbell University Female Athlete of the Year.