Caroline Hedwall has performed successfully every step of the way in her golf career. Now she is on the brink on the LPGA.
The Swedish star, who will turn age 23 on Sunday, has played at the highest level on the junior, amateur, college and now the professional ranks where she is in her first full season on the LPGA.
Hedwall came to the United States in 2008 as one of the top-ranked junior golfers. Along with twin sister Jacqueline, they landed at Oklahoma State and LSU, respectively, on golf scholarships. Caroline gained attention during a two-year stint for the Lady Cowboys where she was the 2009 and 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year. In 2010, she became the first Oklahoma State women’s player to win the individual NCAA crown, capturing the title in Wilmington, N.C. She shared the practice facilities in Stillwater, Okla., with notable Oklahoma State men’s players such as Rickie Fowler, Kevin Tway and Peter Uihlein. Jacqueline is now a senior at LSU, participating in the NCAA Tournament regionals for a fourth time this week in Colorado for the Lady Tigers.
Caroline won the Ladies European Tour qualifier in December 2010, was the youngest member of the European Solheim Cup team in 2011 after winning three times and earned Rookie of the Year honors. She was classified as a rookie on the LPGA in 2011 but played only six tournaments – once in the United States – with made cuts in all.
“I just felt like having such a good year on the European Tour last year, I felt ready to compete against the best players in the world,” Hedwall said earlier this year. “So it was a pretty simple decision when I knew I had my full card out here.”
Hedwall has a model of consistency this season, with seven starts and a worst finish of tied for 56th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. That was her first start in a major championship other than the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Her other six starts this year have resulted in finishes no worse than a tie for 18th, including a best placement of a tie for fifth at the Kia Classic. She ranks fifth on the LPGA in eagles (3) and ninth in Greens in Regulation (73 percent).
Who will win in 2014?
Will Suzann Pettersen defend her title?