Dane Emily Pedersen, who played in the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup, won the International European Ladies’ Amateur Championship in Finland at the end of July.
The 17 year old set up victory with a brilliant 64 in the third round, and a clinical 72 on the final day gave her a three shot win in Turku.
“It felt great playing so well in third round, which put me in a great position, but it also put a lot of pressure on me,” said Pedersen. “All of a sudden I felt I had everything to lose. I shut down all social media the night before the final round, because friends had already started to write congratulations for my victory.
“On the final day, I kept focusing on my own game and what I had to do. I had a goal which was to make four birdies in my round, so that I constantly had something else to focusing on, instead of the other players’ scores and how many shots I was in front – although I knew Noemi (Jimenez) was quite close (two shots) after ten holes.”
Pedersen, who lives near Copenhagen and started playing golf when she was ten years old, credits the Junior Ryder Cup - which was held at Olympia Fields last September – with being instrumental in her development.
“To play in a team with such good players was amazing,” she said. “It gave me lots of motivation to keep on trying to get on those teams again. Seeing and comparing myself to the Americans I played against was also great, so that I could see what I am up against outside Europe. The atmosphere at the actual Ryder Cup was so amazing and I think it was where I realised that I want to be a part of such an atmosphere and play at the top of world golf.”
The 2014 Junior Ryder Cup will take place at Blairgowrie Golf Club from September 22-23, 2014. The event features teams from Europe and the United States comprising six boys and six girls under the age of 18.
The event is an international showcase of golf’s next generation, is designed to continue to build international friendships between top junior golfers in the United States and Europe. Notable past players include Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manassero, Carly Booth, Suzann Pettersen and Hunter Mahan.