Norwegian women golfers making history

Golf is still something of a novelty in Norway, but two women from the Nordic nation are proving that progress is being made. Suzann Pettersen has been Norway’s Queen of the Links for many years, and she showed the world why this week by easily winning the Irish Open in Dublin.

Pettersen’s victory may not have come as much of a surprise given her golfing experience and talent. But what really caught the local headlines was the Norwegian player who came second.

Marianne Skarpnord is not even part of the LPGA tour, but at 22 she is already showing signs of her budding skill. Hailing from Sarpsborg near the southern border with Sweden, Skarpnord put the pressure on Pettersen throughout the Irish Open.

Pettersen, currently ranked third in the world, came out on top at the Portmarnock Links with a 5-under-par finish. Skarpnord’s under-par score was a career best, and places her squarely on the path to LPGA qualification later this year.

“I’ll travel over this autumn and try to qualify,” Skarpnord told reporters at the event. “If I manage, that’s great. If not, I’ll gain from the experience and keep playing in Europe.”