Pia Nilsson (golfer)
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Pia Nilsson Golfer

Pia Nilsson
Personal information
Full namePia Lena T. Nilsson
Born (1958-05-08) 8 May 1958 (age 62)
Malmö, Sweden
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Nationality Sweden
ResidenceScottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
Torekov, Sweden
Career
CollegeArizona State University
StatusProfessional
Former tour(s)LPGA Tour
Ladies European Tour
Professional wins5
Best results in LPGA major championships
ANA InspirationDNP
Women's PGA C'shipT44: 1983
U.S. Women's OpenT44: 1986
du Maurier ClassicT45: 1983

Pia Nilsson (born 8 May 1958) is a Swedish professional golfer and coach.[1][2] She was one of the two players, who were the first Swedes to play collegiate golf at a University in the United States and the first Swede to captain a European Solheim Cup team.

Early years

Born in Malmö, Nilsson began playing golf at around 10 years of age, with her family at Torekov Golf Club in another part of Scania in southern Sweden, when they spend their summers there.

In her golf career, she later also came to represent Ystad Golf Club, Jönköping Golf Club, Ljunghusen Golf Club and Lidingö Golf Club.

Amateur career

At junior level, Nilsson first represented Sweden at the European Lady Junior's Team Championship in 1975 and continued to do that five years in a row. In 1978, at Is Molas Golf Club, Sardinia, Italy, Sweden won the championship for the first time ever.

In 1976, at 18 years of age, Nilsson reached the semi-finals of the Swedish Match-play Championship and finished second at the Swedish International Stroke-play Championship. At the last mentioned tournament, she was also part of winning the Swedish Team Championship with Ljunghusen Golf Club.[3]

Her achievements in 1976, earned her a place, as one of the three best female amateurs in the country, in the Swedish team at the at the Espirito Santo Trophy. She also appeared in the 1980 Espirito Santo Trophy at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States, were the Swedish team finished 7th and Nilsson 10th individually as best Swedish player.[4][5]

In 1979, Nilsson won the Swedish Junior Stroke-play Championship at Sollentuna Golf Club outside Stockholm.

She played her collegiate golf at Arizona State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1981 having made All-Conference Second Team in 1980-1981.[6] Together with Charlotte Montgomery, Nilsson was the first Swede to play collegiate golf at a University in the United States.

In March 1981, Nilsson represented Sweden, together with Charlotte Montgomery, at the international World Cup team competition for two-women national teams in Cali, Colombia. Sweden won as a team, 7 strokes ahead of Spain.

She was a member of the winning Swedish team at the 1981 European Ladies' Team Championship at Troia Golf Club, Portugal. It was Sweden's first victory ever in this championship.[4][5]

Professional career

After being ill at the previous attempt in Houston, Texas, six months earlier, Nilsson qualified for the U.S.-based LPGA Tour at her third attempt, when she succeeded through the LPGA Tour Qualifying School at Bent Tree, Sarasota, Florida, in December 1982, finishing 3rd among 153 players competing for 15 available spots.[7]

She played on the LPGA Tour from 1983 to 1987 with moderate success. Her best finish was tied 11th at the 1984 Konica San Jose Classic at the Almaden Golf & Country Club in San Jose, California, six strokes behind winner Amy Alcott. Nilsson ended the 1984 season 84th on the LPGA Tour money ranking.

She also played in Europe, winning her first professional tournament on the Swedish Golf Tour, at the time named the Telia Tour, at the 1986 SI Trygg-Hansa Open.[8] She had seven other Swedish Golf Tour wins 1986-1990, including the 1989 Swedish Matchplay Championship, which since 1984 was open for professionals to enter.[4][9][10][11]

She became head coach for the Swedish National Women's Teams (juniors, amateurs and pros) in Sweden from 1990 to 1995 and Head Coach for the Swedish National Teams (men and women; pros, amateurs and juniors) from 1996 to 1998.

By captain Mickey Walker, Nilsson was appointed assistant captain of the 1996 European Solheim Cup team. Two years later, as the first ever Swede, she was captain of the European team in 1998 Solheim Cup at Muirfield Village, Ohio, United States, were the U.S. team defeated the European team by 16-12. Six of the twelve players in the European team, and four of the five captain picks, were Swedish born.

She was co-founder with Lynn Marriott and head coach of Vision54 Golf Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, United States and co-author of books "Every Shot Must Have a Purpose" and "The Game Before the Game."

She coaches a number of LPGA Tour professionals and was a coach and mentor to Annika Sörenstam.[12]

Personal life

She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, with a summer house in Torekov, Sweden and is a member of Talking Stick Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona and Torekov Golf Club, Sweden.

She was a member of the board of the Swedish PGA 1989-1993 and became an Honorary member of the Swedish PGA in 1999 and of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals in 2000.

Amateur wins

  • 1979 Swedish Junior Stroke-play Championship
  • 1981 World Cup (Cali, Colombia) (team with Charlotte Montgomery)

Professional wins

Swedish Golf Tour wins (8)

Team appearances

Amateur

Professional

Awards and honors

  • 1993 Swedish PGA Merit in Gold
  • 1994 Swedish Female Sports Coach of the Year
  • 1995 Swedish Sports Coach of the Year
  • 1995 Swedish Golf Federation Golden Club for contributions to Swedish golf
  • 1998 King of Swedens Medal of the 8th dimension with a Royal Blue Ribbon for leadership in sports
  • 1999 Golf Digest Japan Golf Coach of the Year
  • 2001 National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame
  • 2010 Golf Digest #1 ranked Women Teacher in America
  • 2017 Erik Runfelt medal
  • PGA's of Europe Five-Star Professional award

References

  1. ^ "Pia Nilsson: Startern på Old Course tvingade mig till damtee" [Pia Nilsson: The starter at the Old Course forced me to play from the Ladies' tee]. Svensk Golf (in Swedish). No. 6. June 2010. pp. 74-75.
  2. ^ "Pia Nilsson: Svenska supercoachen på hemmaplan" [Pia Nilsson: The Swedish super-coach on home soil]. Svensk Golf (in Swedish). No. 9. September 2012. pp. 68-71.
  3. ^ "Golf - Den Gröna Sporten'" [Golf - the Green Sport] (in Swedish). Swedish Golf Federation 75 Years. pp. 193-196.
  4. ^ a b c Golf - Den stora sporten [Golf - The great sport] (in Swedish). Swedish Golf Federation. 2004. pp. 75, 184, 192-193, 198-199, 233, 278.
  5. ^ a b "World Amateur Team Championship Record Books Player: Pia Nilsson". International Golf Federation. Retrieved 2007.
  6. ^ "Honors and Accolades". Arizona State Sun Devils. Archived from the original on 9 February 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  7. ^ "Även Pia på USA-touren" [Also Pia at the U.S. Tour]. Svensk Golf (in Swedish). No. 1. February 1983. p. 15.
  8. ^ "Pia Nilsson Results 1986". Golfdata.se. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  9. ^ "Pia Nilsson Results 1987". Golfdata.se. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  10. ^ "Pia Nilsson Results 1988". Golfdata.se. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  11. ^ "Pia Nilsson Results 1989". Golfdata.se. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  12. ^ Sörenstam, Annika. "Lessons in Golf and Life". Golf for Women. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2007.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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