American-born 48-year-old is currently eighth in the Ladies European Tour’s rankings
Golf Trailblazer for Icelandic golf Olafia Kristinsdottir has hit the golf jackpot and has now inspired women across the UK and Europe
American-born 48-year-old Olafia Kristinsdottir is currently eighth in the Ladies European Tour’s rankings and has since inspired women across the UK and Europe to take up golf as a career.
The Icelandic golfer has played at 16 Ryder Cups and won nine international events including in the European Championship in 2006.
She remains the top-ranked amateur in the world, while her sister Sigrid and brother Olaf have gone on to represent Iceland.
Oskar Straustad, a tourism official, told Reuters that his homeland was gripped by a wave of golfing popularity and that he believed Kristinsdottir would one day win the International Championship of the Golf Union of Iceland and create a “great legacy for their country”.
While golfing superstars have successfully capitalised on women’s professional golf this year, their more down-to-earth heroes have already made waves back home.
Making her comeback to the Open on Sunday, past course assistant Kasja Sejersted celebrated after sinking a six-foot putt to claim a place in the last group.
Standing proudly in the fairway at St Andrews, the 32-year-old geologist from Hildalbyn explained that she had had mixed feelings about being pulled out of action to recover from a near-fatal car crash earlier this year.
“I wasn’t real happy when I got the call saying I was out of the Open with a broken leg … but I think it’s a good thing because now I’m back and I can make the most of it,” she said.
In March, Sejersted broke her leg and back when her car collided with another car on a rural road, leaving her out of action for several months.
“The worst part was that I couldn’t do anything but really concentrate on my recovery,” she said.
She added that her husband built a knee-splitting 10-metre ramp for her in their home garden so she could walk in and out of their kitchen.
Sejersted underwent nine surgeries and six months of physiotherapy.