Meet the class of 2005 - LET rookies
The Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year award can boast many luminaries of women’s golf as former winners and gives an accurate indication of whom to look out for in future years. Past recipients include Annika Sörenstam, Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Trish Johnson, Karrie Webb, Laura Diaz, Suzann Pettersen and of course last year’s winner, Minea Blomqvist from Finland who shot to stardom with some record breaking performances in 2004.
With the start of the 2005 Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour season at the Singapore Ladies Masters less than a week away, here are the pen-portraits of 21 players who will contend for this coveted title.
This year there is a diverse class of competitors on Tour who between them represent 13 countries and speak a preponderance of languages. Sweden leads the way with five rookies, while there are two representatives from Denmark, Germany, Spain and Wales and one each from New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Scotland, the USA and even as remote as Iceland.
The 21 rookies all earned their fully exempt cards by finishing in the top thirty and ties at the LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season at Riva dei Tessali golf resort near Taranto in Italy, which took place from the 31st October to the 3rd November 2004.
Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Carmen Alonso Fuentes
Born: 15/7/84 - Valladolid
Following an outstanding amateur career Carmen tied for 30th at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season, playing as an amateur. She immediately turned professional to earn her fully exempt status for 2005. A proven winner, she became European Junior Champion in 2004 and 2002 and was Spanish Amateur Champion in 2004. She was also European Amateur Champion in 2003 and won the Sherry Cup in 2001. She played on the LET as an amateur at the Spanish Open in 2002 and 2003, where her best finish was 18th in 2003. Away from the course she enjoys football, basketball, cinema and going out with friends.
Born 17/3/80 - Zurich
Nora finished in outright third position at the LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season after firing the lowest round of the week with a final round five-under-par 67 around the tight tree-lined course. She immediately turned professional, having experienced a successful amateur career in which she was runner-up at the Sherry Cup in 2004 and Swiss Amateur Champion in 2000, 2001 and 2004. She also represented Switzerland in three World Amateur Championships and in seven European Amateur Team Championships. Off the golf course her hobbies include snowboarding, skiing, wake-boarding, water skiing and sports in general.
Born 25/12/66 - Copenhagen
Mianne convinced the LET to change its members’ regulations to allow individuals who have undergone sex reassignment from male to female the opportunity to be eligible for membership in 2004. Finishing 10th at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season, she became the first transsexual member of the LET having turned professional in 2003 and finally realised a lifetime ambition. Mianne spent the 2004 season on the Swedish Telia Tour and recorded two top ten finishes; her best finish was 2nd at the Telia Tour finale where she set a course record six-under-par in the final round. Off course, her hobbies include rollerblading, music, movies, good food and simply enjoying life! She says she has been influenced by anyone who has succeeded in the face of adversity.
Born 18/12/81 - Nykoping
Before studying for a degree in Economics at Orebro University in Sweden, Karin experienced a stellar amateur career. She won the St Rule Trophy in 2003, where she set the course record at St. Andrews New Course with a seven-under-par 68. She finished ninth at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season in Italy and promptly turned professional. As a left handed player, she will be only the second ‘leftie’ on the LET after England’s Sophie Hunter. Borjeskog was also a member of the Swedish Women’s national team in 2002 and 2003. Away from golf, her interests include socialising with friends and working out at the gym.
Born 18/11/83 - Alingsås
Sandra joins the LET after a strong amateur and professional career. The 21-year-old finished 20th at final LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season but made her intentions clear by leading the field after stage one qualifying in Italy. Noted as a big hitter, Sandra played as an amateur on the Swedish Telia Tour for two seasons in 2003 and 2004. Her best finish was 8th at the Swedish International. After turning professional in 2004 she played on the WPGA of South Africa Nedbank Women's Golf Tour where her best finish was 41st at the Nedbank Women’s SA Masters. Off the course, hobbies include travelling, snowboarding and being with friends and her boyfriend.
Born 25/4/81 - Adelaide
Rebecca finished 28th at Tour School for the 2005 season but the Australian born Irishwoman joins the LET as a professional, having made the transition in 2002. Her best professional finish to date was 6th at the Australian Open in 2003 and then 20th at the Australian Masters in 2003. During her amateur career she became Irish Stroke play Champion in 2000 and 2002, as well as Irish Amateur Champion in 2002. Off the course her interests include taekwondo, movies, music and food.
Born 2/11/82 – Bridgend
Highgate made a big splash by winning her LET Tour card at the first attempt at Qualifying School. She finished in eighth place, slipping back after leading the field through rounds one and three. The 2004 Curtis Cup player, who famously lost to teenage prodigy Michelle Wie in the singles at Formby, immediately turned professional and admitted that she was looking forward to getting her career underway. As an amateur, she represented Wales Girls from 1997. Highgate is a three-time Glamorgan Women's County Champion and was runner-up Welsh Championship 2002. Off the golf course, her hobbies include going to the gym and going out with friends.
Born 8/3/81 - Melbourne
After playing collegiate golf for Oklahoma State University for one year, 23-year-old Lisa finished 24th at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season and immediately turned professional. Her amateur career titles include the Victorian State Amateur Championship, which she won in 2004. Off the course, her hobbies include AFL Football, watching movies, reading, hanging out with friends and watching nearly all sports.
Olof Maria Jonsdottir
Born 24/6/76 - Hafnarfjordur
Olof Maria finished in tied 30th place at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season and she is the first Icelandic golf professional to earn a berth on the LET, as well as the first Icelandic golfer to earn fully exempt status on any professional golf Tour. After a successful amateur career playing on the American collegiate circuit Olof Maria played 12 events on the US Futures Tour in 2003 where her best finish was tied 51st at the IOS Futures Golf Classic in El Paso. In 2004, her best finish was T73rd in the Frye Classic. Away from the course, her hobbies include all sports, music and movies. Olof Maria coached handball and golf before attending Tour School and has a degree in Health Sciences from the University of Arkansas.
Born 19/6/80 – Stirling
Lynn made the move to the professional ranks when she finished 23rd at LET Tour School for the 2005 season. She joins the Tour after a stellar amateur career in which she was first reserve for the Curtis Cup team in 2004 and where she was a member of the GB and Ireland Vagliano Team in 2003. She won the Scottish Ladies Amateur Championship in 2000, and was 2nd and 3rd in the British Ladies Stroke play Championship in 2003 and 2002. She won the Scottish Junior Ladies Open Stroke play Championship in 2001 and 1999 and represented the Scottish Ladies Team from 2000-2004 and the GB and I Squad from 2002-2004. Lynn’s hobbies include shopping, going out with friends, seeing family, and working part time at her local driving range. She also graduated in Marketing and Sports Studies from the University of Stirling with a 2:1.
Born 28/8/73 – Minneapolis
Kristin joins the Tour after playing as a professional on the LPGA since 1997. She finished tied for 30th at LET qualifying School for the 2005 season. Her best finish was T23rd at the First Union Betsy King Classic on the LPGA in 2001. She carded a career-low round 65 in the opening round of the ShopRITE LPGA Classic in 2003. Before that she played on the US Futures Tour in 2000, where she recorded two top-10 finishes. Away from the course hobbies include playing the guitar, travelling, snowboarding, sports and pilates. Lindstrom earned a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University in Biology & Movement and Sports Sciences in 1996.
Country New Zealand
Born 19/3/78 - Auckland
Elizabeth finished 22nd at LET Tour School for the 2005 season, as an amateur. She turned professional immediately after a stellar amateur career where she won the Northern Counties Scottish County Finals in 2004. She was runner-up at the Portuguese Amateur Championships the same year and was Northern County Champion in 2004 and 2001 and New Zealand Junior Championships stroke play winner in 1996. Away from the course, hobbies include rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, walking, running and weight lifting. She studied for a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science for three years at the University of Auckland before turning professional and her sister, Vicki Aitken, is the official sports psychologist to the LET.
Born 22/1/81 – Curitiba, Brazil
Miriam won LET qualifying School for the 2005 season at Riva dei Tessali Golf resort in Italy after an opening round of 72 and three consecutive rounds of one under 71. The 23-year-old from Berlin came to the LET as an experienced professional having played as a fully exempt member of the US LPGA and Futures Tours. She turned professional in 2002 and her best finishes include 10th place at the John Q Hammons LPGA Classic in 2003, 11th at the Shop RITE LPGA Classic in 2003, first place at the Grand Rapids Futures Tour Classic in 2002 and first place at the Capital Region Futures Tour Classic in 2002. She was third on the Futures Tour Money List in 2002 and threatens to be a serious force in her LET rookie year. Off the course, her hobbies include fishing, going to the beach, reading books, movies, aerobics and yoga.
Born 22/9/80 - Gothenburg
Mikaela joins the LET after a well documented amateur and professional career. She finished 7th at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season after turning professional in 2003. She played 18 tournaments on the LPGA Tour with non-exempt status in 2004. Her best finish was T21st at the State Farm Classic. In an outstanding amateur career she was NCAA Individual and Team Champion in 2003 and was the 2003 Honda Player of the Year. She was also top amateur at the Compaq Open in Sweden for four consecutive years from 1999-2002. She won five collegiate tournaments whilst studying Economics at the University of Southern California in the USA and is a nine-time member of the Swedish national team. Away from golf, her interests include spending time with friends and family, skiing, tennis, horse-back riding and sailing.
Born 23/2/83 - Cardiff
Kate finished in tied 30th place at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season and immediately turned professional after a successful amateur career in which she was Welsh Ladies Amateur Champion in 2003. The 21-year-old represented Great Britain in the Commonwealth Games in 2003 and also played in the Welsh Ladies Junior and Senior Teams for eight years. Off the course, her hobbies and interests include keeping fit, listening to music, spending time with friends and socialising. She credits Nick Faldo and Annika Sörenstam as most influencing her career.
Born 7/9/84 - Barcelona
Elisa comes to the LET with an outstanding amateur record behind her. She finished 11th at LET Qualifying School for the 2005 season and is highly tipped as a rookie to watch this year. The 2003 Ladies British Amateur Champion was also a semi finalist at the British Amateur Championship in 2004. She won the International Spanish Junior Championship and the International Junior of France in 2004. She was runner-up at the European Ladies Amateur Championship in 2003. Off the course, her hobbies include canoeing, tennis, diving and going to the cinema.
Born 2/11/83 - Bonn
Denise finished 17th at LET Qualifying School. As an amateur, her achievements included winning the Swiss Ladies Amateur Championship in 2001, third at the British Girls Amateur Championship in 2002. first in the Austrian and Portuguese Ladies Amateur Championships in 2003, 2nd at the Spanish Ladies Amateur Championship the same year, third at the Sherry Cup, third at the French Ladies Amateur in 2004, first place at the German national and International Ladies Amateur Championships in 2004 and second at the Spanish Ladies Amateur Championship in 2002. The 21-year-old was also third at the British Ladies Amateur Championship in 2002. Off the course, interests include tennis, basketball, rollerblading and snowboarding.
Marianne, a tall and powerful 18-year-old, finished 12th at Qualifying School, as an amateur. She joins the LET after an excellent amateur career where she won the British Girls Championship in 2003 and played in the winning European Junior Solheim Cup team alongside the Wales Ryder Cup Rookie of the Year for 2004, Minea Blomqvist, at Bogskogens GC in Sweden in 2003. Off the course her hobbies include fishing, shopping and going out with friends and her boyfriend.
Lisa Holm Sorensen
Born 29/9/82 - Hanstholm
Lisa gained her fully exempt status on the LET after a second place finish at Qualifying School. The pint-sized Dane made an impression after she narrowly missed out at Q School the previous year by a shot. She turned professional and joined the Tour in 2003 and then played one event on the LET in 2004 at the Ladies Central European Open where she finished T64th. Lisa played on the Swedish Telia Tour in 2004 where her best finish was second at the Beirut Café Ladies Trophy and second at the Telia Grand Opening. On the WPGA Nedbank Women’s SA Tour, her best finish was third at the Nedbank Women’s SA Masters. Away from golf, her hobbies include listening to music, socialising with friends and all sports.
Born 21/9/83 – Judenburg
Eva joined the LET after finishing 18th at Qualifying School. In a successful amateur career her achievements include first place at the Slovenian Amateur Championship in 2004, as well as second at the German Amateur Championship and third at the Portuguese Amateur and Austrian National Championships, also in 2004. She was placed fifth at the French Amateur in 2004 and seventh at the St Rules Trophy the same year. She was eighth at the Sherry Cup and 21st at the European Amateur Championship, all in 2004. Away from the course, her hobbies include music and skiing.
Born 7/2/83 - Gislavad
Emelie finished 26th at LET Qualifying School. The blonde 21-year-old joins the Tour with an excellent professional and amateur career record. After she turned professional in 2003, Emelie cut her teeth on the Telia Tour in 2004. No ordinary rookie, she finished first in the Telia Tour Order of Merit in 2004 and won the Befle Ladies Open the same year. In 2003, she won the Swedish International. As an amateur Emelie won the Swedish Junior Championship in 2001 and was runner up at the Swedish Junior Championship in 2002. She was also third at the under 21’s French Open in 2002. Off the course, hobbies include badminton, which Emelie played for the Swedish girls’ national team, cooking, shopping, music, friends, and working out. She spent two years training at Gislaveds Gymnasium in Sweden before turning professional and worked as a lifeguard at Gislaveds swimming hall.
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