Lennarth helps lead Tide to national prominence

CW Staff

While growing up in Stockholm, Sweden, Camilla Lennarth never thought playing golf would take her anywhere.

In fact, before she started playing golf at the age of 9, she didn’t even follow golf that much. She was more interested in watching tennis.

“I started because my dad played golf, and he told me I could meet new people at the golf course when we moved,” Lennarth said. “Then I realized I liked it.”

Even after discovering her love for golf, Lennarth did not grow up as an exclusive golf player.

“I played tennis, ping pong, floor ball and golf until I was 16, so I had to make a decision [on what to play],” she said. “[Golf] was my favorite sport, and I had a lot of friends that played golf. And then, floor ball and tennis, you had to run a lot. I didn’t like to run.”

However, as Lennarth continued to play, it became increasingly obvious that she had a talent for the game. Coming out of Klippans High School, she was one of the most highly recruited players in the world. She was ranked as high as third in the Swedish junior ranks, and 45th in the American Junior Golf Association. Lennarth had narrowed her college options to Oklahoma State and Georgia before the University of Alabama, headed by coach Mic Potter, came knocking.

“When we were recruiting her, Alabama wasn’t that good in golf,” Potter said. “We were on the outside looking in, in terms of recruiting. We had to convince [Camilla] that we could become competitive.”

“It’s a pretty good school,” Lennarth said. “But it all came down to the coach. It was really down to earth people. [The coaches] have a lot of respect for [the players].”

Now, Lennarth spearheads one of college’s most powerful women’s golf teams. In her first two years on the team, she has accumulated a mass of accomplishments and is continuing to gain steam. In 23 events and 67 rounds in her freshman and sophomore years, Lennarth has managed a 74.18 average score, has gone under par 14 times, and has seven top-10 finishes, including four top-five finishes.

Entering into her junior season as a returning honorable mention All-American and ranked eighth in the nation, she looks to contend for SEC Player of the Year, as well as All-American honors.

So far this season, Lennarth has been a great help for her team, recently leading the team to a first-place finish in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. She shot a 2-under par 70. So far this season, she is beating her stroke of average shooting score of 74.18 by averaging a 71.85 average score, a -.15 under par average.

The highest she’s finished so far this season was in the Landfall Tradition tournament held in Wilmington, N.C., where she tied for third to help her team finish ninth. In that tournament, she matched her career low score of 68. Despite all of her accolades, Lennarth doesn’t let any of it go to her head.

“I feel like I’m one of the leaders, not the leader,” Lennarth said. “I feel like on the golf course, I have a lot to give to the others on the golf team. It’s just great to be a part of [the team].”

There is more to life than golf for the junior sensation, however. She said she still watches tennis (she follows the Williams sisters and Roger Federer), and likes to spend her free time shopping. “People that are around me say I’m a shopaholic,” Lennarth said. “It’s how I relax.”

“You wouldn’t think she’s as fun loving as she is off the course,” Potter said. “She’s so stoical and focused when she plays. Off the course, she’s a lot of fun.”

As Lennarth continues her golfing career at the Alabama, it can be expected that she will not only continue her standard of excellence, but continue to raise the bar for herself and others. After all, she’s been doing it for a long time.