International player owes family for ‘Swede’ swing
Junior Sofia Berglund wants to make sure she leaves her mark with the UALR Lady Trojans Golf team. The psychology major started off the season by helping lead the Lady Trojans to a second place finish in the first tournament of the season, the Chris Banister Golf Classic. Berglund took fifth place with a +11 finish and an average score of 75.67. The Lady Trojans will play next on Sept. 23-25 at the Golf Week Challenge in Colorado.
The Varberg, Sweden native is in her third season for the Lady Trojans Golf Team. As a freshmen, while playing in 10 events, she totaled 2,345 strokes over 30 rounds for an average score of 78.17. Last season, she ranked fifth for the Lady Trojans and 24th for the Sun Belt Conference after averaging 77.68 strokes in 28 rounds.
Sofia graduated from Peder Skrivares Skola in 2011 and began her freshman year that fall at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. “I was looking at a lot of different schools and I came for a visit,” Berglund said. She went on to talk about how the coaches and the weather effected her decision to attend UALR. “I liked the coach (Bridgett Norwood). She was very nice to me during my visit and I like the weather. I’m from Sweden. It’s super cold, not very golf friendly. So, here we can play all year around. It’s perfect conditions for a golfer.” Sofia said that the coach took her to different golf courses in the Little Rock area.
Berglund compared the differences between Sweden and the United States. “They’re both Western cultures, so it’s not that big of a difference. But it’s still like a big change to move out from your family home and live in an apartment by yourself, and take care of yourself, and study and stuff, but I adapted well. So, I haven’t had any hard times adjusting,” she said.
While being away from home, she texts or Skypes with her family and visits them during Christmas and Summer breaks. “Well, I talk to them a lot,” she said. She explained that the time difference could make it harder for them to contact each other. “We manage to work around that, because it’s seven hours. So when I come home for lunch, they eat dinner at night. It works out. We never had a problem.” Her family checks on her to see how she’s doing in school and in the golf season.
Sofia started playing golf, with her parent’s encouragement, when she was 11-years-old. They placed her in a golf camp every summer and practiced it themselves during the week every fall. “My mom and dad got me to the golf course when I was very young. I didn’t play a lot then, but I was there,” she said.
She competed in high school and took a youth exchange to Texas in her junior year. She fondly remembers playing on her high school team. “In Sweden, golf is very individualistic. We don’t play as a team a lot. But in high school, I played on my high school team and that was a lot of fun,” she said. Many of her high school teammates went on to play college golf, which motivated her to do the same.
As a student-athlete, she said it’s very busy. She’s very close to her team and enjoys spending time and taking trips with her teammates. As well as hanging out with other sports players at the school. Sofia will be graduating from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in May 2014. “I’m really excited but it’s going to be sad to leave this place but I’m also ready for the next chapter to move on,” she said. This summer, Berglund will be playing on a golf professional tour. She also plans to apply for medical school in March for the fall semester in Sweden.
“It’s kind of like a milestone in life. I have to make some decisions that I’m not too excited about, but it’s going to be fun, because I’m going to make new friends, but it’s going to be hard at the same time.”