Caroline Larsson played in the Pro Am ahead of the UNIQA Ladies Open presented by Raiffeisen at Golfclub Förenwald in Austria on Thursday.  

The 22 year-old Swedish professional was invited to play with her role model Carin Koch after she expressed the wish following an amputation on her right leg due to cancer in May.

She was thrilled to have the opportunity and said: “It was so fun playing with Carin Koch. She was one of my role models when I grew up. We had a great time playing and the course was really beautiful. I had a really great time.”

She swung on one leg using a golf cart to traverse the course in between shots and said that it was not too difficult, although she would like to be more accurate.

 “Hitting balls into the green was not as good as it used to be but you can’t be good every time you play so that was my big challenge today.”

She added that she was just a little tired: “I’m feeling tired now but it’s getting a lot better than three weeks ago and my knee is getting stronger and my arms can take a lot more weight now than before so it feels better. I gained a little length with my driver the last few weeks so it’s improving in the right way.”

Caroline played at LET Pre-Qualifying School in December, but unlike her sister Louise, who led the event, she failed to make it through to the final stage.

She has not given up on her ambition and dreams of joining the Ladies European Tour one day, but in the mean time she will play on the Swedish Nordea Tour next year.

She received an invitation to play in the next event, but it was scheduled too closely to another competitive commitment in Arizona in October: the 63rd Annual National Amputee Golf Open Championship. Playing will be a challenge but Caroline is determined to succeed.

She recently played in the Swedish Invitational with a number of other golfers with disabilities, including her hero, Manuel de los Santos and has received international publicity because of her amazing spirit.

Fellow Swede Koch commented: “She’s unbelievable; she hits it so good. She’s such a great person and very inspiring, positive and just a lot of fun. She doesn’t say anything bad about what has happened to her; she just takes all the positives and tries to do everything as good as she can with a new situation in her life and it’s just very inspiring.”

Caroline is doing a lot of physiotherapy, chipping and putting to try to take her game to the next level and hopes to be able to reach the longer par fours in regulation to compete alongside fellow professionals in Sweden next summer.

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