Icelandic Golfer Hits it Big
On December 4, Icelandic golfer Ólafía Þórunn Kristinsdóttir, from Reykjavík Golf Club, made history when she secured the right to compete at the 2017 LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Tour. The 24-year-old golfer did so by finishing second at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she completed the tournament’s five rounds at 12 under par.
The LPGA Tour is a series of golf tournaments for elite female golfers from around the world. It’s, therefore, no exaggeration that Ólafía’s performance placed her among the world’s best golfers. No Icelander has ever before qualified for an LPGA Tour.
Her success was celebrated by her club GR in Grafarvogur when she returned to Iceland on December 7. Mayor of Reykjavík Dagur B. Eggertsson was among those who spoke at the reception, congratulating her on her historical achievement. She received ISK 1 million (USD 9,000, EUR 8,500) in sponsorship from GR to prepare for and compete in the tour.
Ólafía Þórunn gave a speech, thanking her family for their support and GR for helping her succeed as a golfer. She also thanked her coaches, sponsors and GSÍ, the national golfing union. Finally, she encouraged young golfers to set their goals high and work hard to reach them.
Ólafía Þórunn caught attention at the beginning of November for her outstanding performance at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi. The tournament was part of the Ladies European Tour.
Ólafía Þórunn was born in Reykjavík in 1992. She began playing golf at the age of 10 and took part in her first tournament when she was 12. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University. She has been the Icelandic Female Golf Champion three times.
Last year was an exceptionally successful year for Icelandic athletes. Ólafía Þórunn placed third when the Association of Icelandic Sport Journalists selected Iceland’s 2016 Sportsperson of the Year.
By Vala Hafstað
Photo by Geir Ólafsson