When Camilla Hedberg steps onto the golf course she isn’t out there to just compete, she’s out there to make a name for herself.
This sophomore stand-out from Sitges, Spain is coming off an impressive freshman year where she earned not only a selection to the All-SEC Freshman team but also SEC Freshman of the Year honors.
“There was no reason for me not to have played well,” said Hedberg, who has been playing golf since the age of seven.
Her performance prior to arriving at Florida fueled the expectations Hedberg put in place for herself during her freshman year of college. She was voted the number one amateur player in Spain, finished first at the Spanish Ladies National tournament in May 2011 and also claimed a first-place title at the Sherry Cup and British Ladies Amateur qualifying rounds in May and June 2011.
“Camilla is an outstanding talent and brings so much to our team both on and off the golf course,” Florida head coach and former LPGA player, Emily Bastel said. “She is a fierce competitor on the inside, but has the ability to remain calm during tough pressure situations, a great combination for a competitive golfer.”
Hedberg and Bastel share a strong bond, after both arriving at UF in 2011 when Bastel then held assistant coach responsibilities.
“She’s awesome,” Hedberg said about her coach. “I really like her and trust her on helping me with my swing. She has done a great job at continuing to develop my game.”
Growing up in Spain, Hedberg says she used to play golf on a consistent basis with her father, mother and younger brother. Golf has become a growing sport in Spain, but has been a country that has taken pride in academics more so than athletics.
“Spain is very much focused on academics,” Hedberg said about her reasoning for coming to the United States to play golf. “It’s very difficult to do it by yourself [school and golf], but that’s the great thing about here. We have a lot of tutors and advisors that give us great help.”
While in Spain, Hedberg attended a sports academy for high school. She says that it is similar to the IMG Academy here in the U.S.
“I practiced every day there and then would work out,” Hedberg said. “That was very good for me.”
Hedberg decided to come to Florida her junior year of high school. The transition ended up being smoother than she originally believed.
“I thought it was going to be hard, honestly,” Hedberg said. “I went to a British school when I was younger, so I already knew English and my teammates and coaches were wonderful so that was a huge help. It was a little tough going to classes the first couple of weeks because it was so different, but I got used to it pretty soon.”
Hedberg is excelling as a criminology major now and is looking forward to what the 2013 spring season has in store for herself and her team.
“I’m playing pretty good right now,” Hedberg said. “I’m hitting the ball well, my short game is good, and my putting is very, very good- which is usually not my best. I’m feeling good about my game.”
In fall 2012, Hedberg recorded her first tournament win as a Gator at the Cougar Classic. There, she shot three consecutive rounds under par and finished 13-under (203) while leading her Gators to an overall victory.
In October, Hedberg collected another individual title at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. She was tied for first at the end of regulation with an 8-under (208) score. Then, in a sudden-death playoff, Hedberg mustered a par on the extra hole to the opponent’s bogey and came away the victor. Hedberg is hoping her stellar performance will continue into the spring.
“I just got to keep working hard and trying hard,” Hedberg said. “I got to keep it up if that’s how I want to perform in the spring.”
Last year, Hedberg helped the Gators clinch a fourth-place finish at the SEC Championship, and a 12th-place finish at the NCAA championship. Of course, she will be doing all she can to help her team succeed again this year.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing, individually and as a team,” Hedberg said. “If we work hard and can do what we did last year and this past fall, I think we will do great.”
Yet, success always comes with work. Even though Hedberg is very pleased with her game at present, she says that an area she would like to work on is her short game.
“I think I got better since I got to UF, but there is always room for improvement,” Hedberg said.
Hedberg is serious about her golf game, but loves to let loose and have a good time. When asked how she thought her teammates might describe her, Hedberg answered with happy, bubbly and just plain fun to be around.
“They always tell me that I’m crazy because I’m loud and always jumping around,” Hedberg said.
In her free time, Hedberg enjoys spending time with her teammates by going out to eat or to the movies. She lives with two of them and says that it helps to build chemistry.
“The team gets along with each other awesome,” Hedberg said. “We are really fortunate for that.”
She’s a girl with a joyful personality, an excellent golf game and a bright future. Hedberg wants to turn pro after her career at Florida is over, which is still two years away, but nonetheless is a goal she has had set for herself for some time.
“My plans in the long term are to play in the U.S., but otherwise I will go to Europe and play there.”
When it comes to golf, Hedberg means business. Her career at Florida is in full-swing and her achievements thus far have proved that she is definitely someone to watch in the years to come.