Our Featured Player for this month is Sweden’s Julia Engström. Born on March 27, 2001 in Halmstad, Julia is the youngest player to ever win the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship. In 2016, just a month after her 15th birthday, she beat 19-year-old Dewi Weber in an exciting final. Julia is currently ranked 6th in the PING Jr. Solheim Cup standings after finishing T-3 with Frida Kinhult at the most recent qualifying event, the ANNIKA Invitational Europe.
We spoke with Julia shortly after the tournament and asked her some questions about her golf career and personal life. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: Who is your biggest role model and why?
A: My biggest role model is Annika. Since I was little, I’ve looked up to her. The fact that she is the only female golfer who has shot under 60 is great. She is also from Sweden which makes it even bigger. I’ve been fortunate to meet her a few times through the ANNIKA Cup and ANNIKA Invitational Europe.
Q: What is your greatest golf memory?
A: When I hit my second shot from 140 meters on the 19th hole in the final at the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship to 1 meter. The feeling walking to the green was amazing. And also, the happiness I felt when I called my parents afterwards.
Q: How/why did you start playing golf?
A: I was always at the golf club when I was little. I started with group practice at the age of four and continued to fall in love with the sport as I grew older.
Q: What was your favorite golf tournament you have played in so far?
A: I played in the Junior Ryder Cup last year and that was the best week of my life. We had the opportunity to play Hazeltine and speak to the Ryder Cup players. The tournament itself was great as well. We were a great team and had so much fun together. And at the end of the week, both teams became good friends. When I won the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, I got invited to the three majors that were left that year. The U.S. Open was the first one and it was such an amazing experience. It made me fight even harder so that eventually, I can play on the LPGA Tour.
Q: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring female golfers who are just starting to play the game?
A: Just have fun and enjoy being on the course and ask a few friends if they want to start playing also. It doesn’t get any better than being on the course with your friends!
Q: How did it feel to be the youngest player to win the Ladies British Amateur Championship? Did you do anything to celebrate?
A: When I played the tournament, I didn’t even know about the record. It finally hit me when they told me during the prize ceremony.
I was the only one left from Sweden when I won, so my coach and I went out for something to eat but we were so tired so we went back to the hotel and caught up on sleep! I was able to celebrate with my friends when I came home.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: I’d say tacos or some meat with roasted vegetables on the side.
Q: Who is your favorite golfer?
A: My favorite golfer is Rory McIlroy. I have looked up to him since I was very young.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I’d have to say “Me Before You,” but I don’t watch that many movies. I love to watch T.V. series with multiple seasons. My favorite series is “One Tree Hill.”
Q: What is your favorite kind of music (singer, group, etc.)?
A: It changes from time to time but my favorite artists right now are Zara Larsson, Axwell and Ingrosso. I enjoy most all popular music.
Q: What is one thing that not many people know about you?
A: I am extremely clumsy!
While she may be clumsy in her everyday life, she certainly doesn’t show it on the golf course. Her main goal for this year is to make the PING Junior Solheim Cup Europe Team and win. She also hopes to finish top 10 in the WAGR. After high school, Julia plans to either attend college in the United States, which she says sounds like a great experience, or become a professional golfer. Based on her amateur golf career to this point, it seems like she will have no problem accomplishing all of this and much more. Good luck with the rest of the season, Julia, and thanks for being this month’s featured player!