Martina Edberg, one of nine Swedes in the final stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament this week at LPGA International, had a club in her hand when she was two because her parents and uncle own a golf resort in Sweden called Hooks Herrgård. However, she didn’t think she’d still have a club in her hand 20 years later.
For the first 15 years of her life she thought she’d be an Olympic diver, specializing in the one and three meter springboard. Hip and knee issues, which stem from diving and gymnastics, derailed her diving career and forced the switch to golf.
Edberg, 22, didn’t start to idolize Sweden’s golf legend Annika Sorenstam until later in life. Instead, she looked up to Anna Lindberg, who has represented Sweden in five Olympics as a premier one and three meter diver.
Golf was an easy transition, especially considering one of her closest uncles is Pelle Edberg, who has five wins worldwide and competes on the European and Challenge Tours.
“He is like my brother, we’re only 15 years apart,” said Edberg, whose ball marker this week reads 'Birdie Time.’ “He’s known me since I was a baby and we are very close. I’ll probably talk to him this afternoon.”
She’ll have a lot of good to discuss after a 2-under, 70 on the Hills Course to open the first round.
Edberg’s golf career was accelerated when she went to a golf academy in Helsingborg, the same high school that produced 2017 Solheim Cup rookie Madelene Sagstrom. The two share the same swing coach to this day, Hans Larsson.
Edberg then decided to come over to the U.S. to play college golf at Cal State Fullerton. She ended her career by winning the 2017 Big West Conference individual title and was named Conference Player of the Year. The conference championship was one of six wins she had as a senior.
It wasn’t as smooth a transition to the U.S. as the six wins would indicate. She was in and out of the hospital her first year with strep throat, sternum inflammation and other minor ailments, which she attributes to the stress of trying to adjust to a new life.
“I didn’t sleep well the first year and I didn’t eat because I didn’t like the food,” said the very well spoken Edberg. “Classes were hard and English is not my first language so it was hard at first.”
The adjustment period wasn’t long. She was the 2013-14 Big West Freshman of the Year.
Edberg finished in a tie for third at Stage I and T26 at Stage II to very easily advance to this week.
In a weird twist of fate, Edberg accidentally locked her keys in her trunk yesterday and had to call AAA. She’s just happy it didn’t happen the morning of the first round.
“If that happened this morning (Wednesday), I would have missed my tee time."
With clubs in hand, Edberg is now just four rounds away from qualifying for the LPGA.
“If I’m going to do this (golf), I want to be at the highest level,” said Edberg. “If I’m going to do something, I want to be great. Why do it otherwise?”