Ahead of her Rose Ladies Open title defence at Brocket Hall in September, Editor Emma Ballard spoke to My Leander
My Leander is looking forward to returning to Brocket Hall in two weeks to defend her Rose Ladies Open title. We spoke to her about her first LET Access victory, meeting Kate and Justin Rose and the impact that high profile players can have on the women's game.
What do you remember most about your victory?
I remember I was enjoying my game and staying patient. After the first two rounds I was behind and felt like I needed to do better and then I’d won the whole thing! It was like, whoa, okay, I didn't even think about that. I didn't even think that I would win because I always felt like I needed to catch up and do better on the course. So is was always me against the course which was nice. My first LET Access win was very cool.
What was your game plan heading into the final round?
Before the final round I looked at my stats and I was something like four or five over on the back nine and six under on the front. So I told myself that I just needed to play better on the back nine, just aim for par. That was my mindset. Then I show up on 18, make birdie, and was two-under for the back nine.
Did you enjoy your champagne celebration with Kate and Justin Rose?
That was also one of the best things, having champagne with the Rose family. It was such a great opportunity to speak to Justin and Kate, I had 1000 questions but didn’t know where to start as I hadn’t even thought I would be sitting there. It was a tremendous day.
They also booked me a room at Brocket Hall for the night. I had been going to catch a bus and stay the night at the airport before my flight home but instead I headed down to the airport the following morning. It was great to be able to properly celebrate my win.
I was not prepared for it, but I was so happy to win the Rose Ladies Open. It was really cool and will always be a good moment in my career. I will always have a good memories of Brocket Hall. I’m like, I could get married on this course. Like I love this course. I love the venue, it’s a fantastic place!
Since your win, we've seen you've been doing some commentating, can you tell us about that?
I'm an expert commentator on Discovery Plus, so I am a commentator on the PGA Tour mostly but I also did the Women’s Scottish Open last month. It’s something that I can do in between tournaments, when I'm home in Sweden.
During The Masters I was in a big studio back in Stockholm. I was the only woman in the studio, which felt great to be giving a female voice in such a big men’s event. I feel empowered that I am a golfer and I'm able to do that. It's not like just old men sitting in the studio.
I'm young, I'm a woman, and I get to sit there and they respect my views as well. So I think that's super cool. A lot of girls have come up to me and said that they think it's so cool that I sit there and do it equally as good as the men do. It’s great to be a role model for them.
Are you feeling a lot of pressure to defend your title?
No, I think the biggest pressure I have is on myself because I want to play as well as I did. I don't exactly remember how I did everything last year. But you know, if you've done it once, you can do it more times. It would suck to come back and not perform well. So I'm just hoping that I can keep the same level of golf. And if that means a good win, or a good fifth place or whatever, I'm happy with that, it's what I look forward to the most.
I'm struggling a little bit with my putter. But that was the situation last year as well. So I think it's just having a good mood and kind of coming into the rhythm and, and be patient. I know that's an overused word in golf from a lot of players. But, I think when my putter is working well, I can really win it again.
What does it mean to the women’s game to have the support of Justin and Kate Rose?
I think that's a very good question. I'm really glad that you're asking it. I would say that looking three years back before the Rose family came into women’s golf, I don’t think anyone would have known the answer to that. It would have been a theoretical one.
Then once we see such a high-profile player like Justin Rose and his family stepping in and really from their hearts doing the Rose Ladies Series and really trying to build it, you can see the impact they could have.
I spoke with Justin when I won and I said, ‘you know how big an impact this has right?’
You can put a post out on social media, that's one thing, but actually putting investment, time and effort in, is something else. I think maybe in six years, perhaps we're going to see more female golfers from the UK that I guess we could call alumni from the Rose Ladies Series.
Then longer term than that, we’ll see women at the highest level, like the Solheim Cup, all because of the opportunities that the Rose Ladies Series gave them.
Do you see parallels with what Annika Sorenstam has achieved in Sweden?
In Sweden, Annika Sorenstam came in and showed us what we could do. Now you see golfers like Maja Stark and Linn Grant, we have five players in the Solheim Cup team, a lot of Swedes.
I was one of the first players in the Annika Invitational Europe, I was in the first class and I came second. I’m 28 now, so Annika has made a big impact on me since around 2012. Look what has been achieved in Sweden since she started this tournament.
By having the Rose family do this, I told them that I think you will see a lot more British girls coming through and maybe all the way through to the Solheim Cup. Thanks to them.
I think, now we can see the impact the Rose family have made, you can look at how good it has been for the LET Access and it will probably go further.
What I think is really important is that their interest comes from their heart, that they are really showing the way and leading the way through it. I think it's just amazing what they are doing. And it's really true. It's not something you just say, it's actually taking action.
Any other final thoughts before you fly over for the Rose Ladies Open?
Just a big thumbs up to the whole of Brocket Hall and all that they do for the players during the Rose Ladies Open. It makes it such a special event on the LET Access, for all the players. The food, hospitality and the way we are looked after.
All the marketing that goes into it and all the staff and everything that goes into making this event happen. I think it's important not to forget all the people that help to make this event such a success.
See you in September!
Fancy watching My Leander defend her title in September? Then enter our competition to WIN two hospitality tickets (to a day of your choice) plus a signed flag - enter here. The competition closes on Monday 28th August.