Emily Kristine Pedersen is hoping to win in the Czech Republic this week to climb above long-standing Danish rival Nanna Koerstz Madsen on the Olympic Ranking.
The Tipsport Golf Masters at Golf Park Pilsen is the final counting tournament on the Ladies European Tour before the qualification deadline of July 11.
Nicole Broch Larsen and Madsen are the two Danish players who are currently set for Rio de Janeiro, but it’s a close race between Madsen and Pedersen, who also battled for last year’s Rookie of the Year award, clinched by Pedersen after she won her maiden title at the Hero Women’s Indian Open.
Pedersen is currently 129th on the Rolex Women’s World Ranking, only one spot behind Madsen.
The pair are 15th and 10th respectively on the LET Order of Merit, with only 7,935.07 euros between them. Pedersen needs to finish fifth to earn 9,000 euros and pass Madsen if she misses the cut, although she needs to finish at least fourth if Madsen makes the cut.
Speaking about the rivalry with her fellow Smoerum Golf Club member, Pedersen said: “It’s been like that for the last eight years so we’re used to it and it’s always her that I compete with.
“If I want to go to Rio I’ll have to play really good here and I want that, but I try and see it just as a normal tournament and I always want to do well in the LET events. My goal is obviously to win because I’ve shown I can do that, so there are a lot of things that can be affected by this week but I try not to think about it too much and focus on getting a good result.”
There are several other Olympic hopefuls in this week’s field, including Gwladys Nocera, Marianne Skarpnord, Ursula Wikstrom, Klara Spilkova, Noora Tamminen, Maria Verchenova, Christine Wolf, Anne Van Dam, Fabienne In-Albon, Chloe Leurquin, Aditi Ashok, Miriam Nagl and Victoria Lovelady. Swiss amateur Albane Valenzuela is still in the race having just dropped outside the top 60 on the Ranking.
The Tipsport Golf Masters get under way on Friday with a cut after two rounds. The third and final round will be played on Sunday and the winner will take home 37,500 euros.