The Catalonia Ladies event in Spain early in the season was a two-day pro am event featuring a strong field of Europe’s top competitors and Lotta recorded a comprehensive six stroke victory over Rebecca Hudson, Paula Marti and Tania Elosegui.
It wasn’t an official victory, but the bubbly Swede loved the taste of winning so much that she did it again in Turkey in May, winning at National Golf Club in Belek, Antalya, by a huge 12 shot margin. She secured her second full-field event at the S4C Wales Ladies Championship, played in tough conditions, at Machynys Peninsula Golf and Country Club in August. Lotta defeated Germany’s Martina Eberl at the second extra hole of a sudden death playoff and in so doing confirmed that her first win was no fluke.
With powerful ball striking and a deft touch around the greens, Lotta Is confident that she has the ability to win any tournament she enters and she is clear about her 2009 ambitions.
“I want to have at least one more year in Europe because I really enjoy playing there and I want to win the ranking this year; that is my goal,” she said. “I want to win more tournaments before I go to the States.
“I want to go to the States in the future but I don’t feel any stress because the European Tour is such a good tour and I really enjoy playing there. Why change when I feel very comfortable? I feel like I am getting so much better every week in Europe and I feel very good when I’m playing there. I have the opportunity to go home and see my friends between tournaments, to go home to my apartment.
“Gwladys won five tournaments last year so maybe I need to win four or five.”
Lotta exemplifies the image of a modern professional golfer on the Ladies European Tour: fashionable, vivacious and sporty. She can often be found roller blading with her iPod plugged in or even more frequently, running.
Yet she suspects that her passion may have caused a knee injury late last year, which forced her to retire from the Dubai Ladies Masters.
“I hurt my knee when I was in Dubai so from then until Australia I couldn’t practise at all. When I got to Australia I was not in good shape and I didn’t play well. It was very tough down there. Now it’s much better and I can practise whenever I want. Everything is good now,” she said, thankfully.
With so many generations of talented Swedes in women’s golf, the likes of which include Annika Sorenstam, Liselotte Neumann, Helen Alfredsson, Sophie Gustafson, Maria Hjorth, Carin Koch and Louise Friberg, there are high expectations from the Swedish media and public and Lotta has a lot to live up to before she can really make her mark on the world stage.
Yet if she continues to play to her ability and maintains her happy-go-lucky attitude to life, then she is sure to reap the rewards of her hard work and patience. In time, she may even become the European No.1.