Helen Alfredsson

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Helen Alfredsson
Helen Alfredsson in Jan 2014.jpg
Alfredsson in 2014
Personal information
Full nameHelen Christine Alfredsson
NicknameAlfie
Born (1965-04-09) 9 April 1965 (age 56)
Gothenburg, Sweden
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Nationality Sweden
ResidenceOrlando, Florida, U.S.
Onsala, Kungsbacka, Sweden
SpouseKent Nilsson (2005–2016)
PartnerKent Nilsson
Career
CollegeU.S. International University
(graduated 1988)
Turned professional1989
Current tour(s)Legends Tour (2012–present)
Former tour(s)Ladies European Tour (1989–2013)
LPGA Tour (1992–2013)
Professional wins25
Number of wins by tour
LPGA Tour7
Ladies European Tour11
LPGA of Japan Tour3
ALPG Tour1
Other4
Best results in LPGA major championships
(wins: 1)
ANA InspirationWon: 1993
Women's PGA C'shipT5: 1992
U.S. Women's Open2nd/T2: 1993, 2008
du Maurier ClassicT8: 1993
Women's British OpenT40: 2002
Evian ChampionshipCUT: 2013
Achievements and awards
Ladies European Tour
Rookie of the Year
1989
LPGA Tour
Rookie of the Year
1992
Ladies European Tour
Order of Merit
1998

Helen Christine Alfredsson (born 9 April 1965) is a Swedish professional golfer who played primarily on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour and is also a life member of the Ladies European Tour. She won the LPGA major Nabisco Dinah Shore and twice finished second in the U.S. Women's Open. She also won the Women's British Open once and the Evian Masters three times before those events were designated as majors in women's golf by the LPGA Tour. In 2019, she won a "senior slam" by winning both of the senior women's major championships.

Amateur career[edit]

Alfredsson was born in Gothenburg, Sweden and at age 11 began playing golf at Gullbringa Golf & Country Club north of Gothenburg. At young ages, she represented Sweden on both junior level and in the national amateur team.[1][2]

She attended United States International University, San Diego, California, playing in their golf team led by coach Gordon Severson and graduated in 1988.[3][4] During summer time she played in Sweden and won the Swedish Match-play Championship three years in a row 1986 through 1988, as an amateur while the championship since 1986 had become open for professionals and part of the Swedish Golf Tour for women.[5][6][7]

In 1987, she was a member of the winning Swedish team at the European Ladies' Team Championship at Turnberry, Scotland.[1] She was also a member of the Swedish team in the Espirito Santo Trophy 1986 and 1988.[1] At home soil in Stockholm in 1988, Sweden finished second after the United States, which was at the time, the best Swedish finish ever. The same year Alfredsson finished individual bronze-medallist at the European Ladies' Championship at Pedrena Golf Club, Spain.[1]

She turned professional on 1 January 1989.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Alfredsson began her professional career on the Ladies European Tour where she was awarded 1989 Rookie of the Year. The next year, in 1990, she claimed her maiden professional win at the Women's British Open. She won twice on the LET in 1991 and won once each on the Australian and Japan tours.[2] She earned exempt status for the 1992 LPGA Tour season by tying for 17th at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.[3]

She earned Rookie of the Year honors on the LPGA Tour in 1992 and has won seven LPGA Tour events, including one LPGA major: the 1993 Nabisco Dinah Shore. A little over three months after her Dinah Shore victory, Alfredsson nearly won the U.S. Women's Open at Crooked Stick Golf Club. Alfredsson entered the final round with a two-stroke advantage, but finished tied for 2nd, one shot behind winner Lauri Merten.[1]

At the 1994 U.S. Women's Open at Indianwood Golf & Country Club, Michigan, Alfredsson shot an 8 under first round 63, a new tournament single round record. Her 36-hole total 132 also broke the tournament record. When she reached 13 under during the third round, it was at the time the lowest score to par ever reached in a U.S. Open, by men or women. After playing her last 29 holes in 14 over par, she fell to tied 9th, eight shots behind winner Patty Sheehan.[1]

During her career on the LPGA Tour, Alfredsson continued to play a limited number of events in Europe, where she won eleven times. She finished on top of the Ladies European Tour money list in 1998.

In 2008, Alfredsson came back, after recovering from injuries in her leg, back and shoulder, and won her third Evian Masters title, her first LPGA Tour win in five years.[8]

She was member of the European Solheim Cup team as a player 8 times: 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2009. She was appointed captain of the 2007 European Solheim Cup team, losing to the United States team 12-16. When she qualified for the European Team at the 2009 Solheim Cup, she became the first, and still the only, player on both teams, to qualify as a player after she has been the team captain a previous year.

While playing golf, Alfredsson has been known to curse long and loud in Swedish.[9] The Financial Times of London once editorialized "They can be louder and more richly worded than many of Lenny Bruce's best performances". Alfredsson said about cursing "You have to stay so focused on the tour, you work so hard, you don't want anything to interfere. But then all of a sudden this little devil comes crawling out, saying, 'It's time to do something. You've been good too long." "[10]

In September 2013, Alfredsson officially announced her retirement from the LPGA Tour.[11]

She is a life time member of the Ladies European Tour.

After her retirement from competitive golf on the regular tour, she came back, playing on the women's senior tour, the Legends Tour, primarily in the senior majors, with great success. She tied for third in the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in 2017 and improved that by finishing tied second at the 2018 Senior LPGA Championship. She won both of the two senior ladies major championships in 2019, the U.S. Senior Women's Open and the Senior LPGA Championship, completing the same "senior slam" as Laura Davies achieved in 2018.

Personal life[edit]

At young age she practiced ice skating and team handball. Her father Björn was a six-time Swedish handball champion and a keen golfer himself. The father and daughter won the 1999 Swedish Two Generations Mixed Championship, played as 36-hole foursome.[1]

In later years Alfredsson has practiced yoga.[8]

During her college years in San Diego, California, she met Leo Cuellar, the school's soccer coach and a former World Cup and Olympic soccer player for Mexico. The couple later got engaged.[12]

After graduating in 1988 with a degree in International Business and Marketing, she tried a career in Paris, France as a model and stayed for six months.[3][4]

In 2005, Alfredsson married former National Hockey League player Kent Nilsson and became stepmother of his son, hockey player Robert Nilsson. Kent Nilsson was en elite amateur golfer himself, with a handicap below scratch. They divorced in 2016, but came back to live together.[8]

She has contributed to the foundation of a charity golf tournament supporting research on Alzheimer's disease, which affected her mother, who died in 2010.[8]

Amateur wins[edit]

  • 1981 Swedish Junior Match-play Championship
  • 1982 Belgian Open Junior Championship
  • 1983 Swedish Junior Match-play Championship
  • 1985 Swedish Junior Match-play Championship

Source:[1]

Professional wins (29)[edit]

LPGA Tour wins (7)[edit]

Legend
LPGA Tour major championships (1)
Other LPGA Tour (6)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 28 Mar 1993 Nabisco Dinah Shore −4 (69-71-72-72=284) 2 strokes United States Tina Barrett
United States Amy Benz
United States Betsy King
2 31 Jul 1994 PING/Welch's Championship −14 (70-68-70-66=274) 4 strokes United States Pat Bradley
United States Juli Inkster
3 25 Jan 1998 The Office Depot −11 (68-71-67-71=277) 2 strokes Sweden Liselotte Neumann
4 15 Mar 1998 Welch's/Circle K Championship −14 (68-64-70-72=274) 1 stroke United States Dana Dormann
Sweden Liselotte Neumann
5 5 Oct 2003 Longs Drugs Challenge −13 (72-69-64-70=275) 1 stroke United States Pat Hurst
South Korea Jung Yeon Lee
South Korea Se Ri Pak
South Korea Grace Park
Australia Rachel Teske
6 27 Jul 2008 Evian Masters^ −15 (71-63-71-67=273) Playoff South Korea Na Yeon Choi
United StatesBrazil Angela Park
7 26 Oct 2008 Grand China Air LPGA −12 (70-69-65=204) 3 strokes Taiwan Yani Tseng

LPGA Tour playoff record (1–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1992 Mazda Japan Classic United States Betsy King Lost to birdie on fourth extra hole
2 1997 Samsung World Championship of Women's Golf United States Juli Inkster
United States Kelly Robbins
Inkster won with birdie on first extra hole
3 2008 Evian Masters South Korea Na Yeon Choi
United StatesBrazil Angela Park
Won with birdie on third extra hole
Park eliminated with birdie on first hole
4 2008 Safeway Classic Sweden Sophie Gustafson
United States Cristie Kerr
Kerr won with birdie on first extra hole

Ladies European Tour wins (11)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 5 Aug 1990 Weetabix Women's British Open −4 (70-71-74-73=288) Playoff Zimbabwe Jane Hill
2 16 Jun 1991 Hennessy Ladies Cup −8 (70-71-71-68=280) Playoff France Marie-Laure de Lorenzi, Australia Corinne Dibnah
3 23 Jun 1991 Trophée Coconut Skol −12 (73-68-73-75=276) 3 strokes Scotland Dale Reid
4 12 Jul 1992 Hennessy Ladies Cup (2) −17 (68-70-67-66=271) 1 stroke England Trish Johnson
5 30 Aug 1992 IBM Ladies' Open −14 (68-70-71-69=278) 2 strokes Sweden Liselotte Neumann
6 12 Jun 1994 Evian Masters −1 (71 73 73 70=287) 3 strokes Australia Sarah Gautrey, England Laura Fairclaugh
7 7 Jul 1996 Hennessy Cup (3) −8 (68-70-71-71=280) Playoff England Trish Johnson, Sweden Liselotte Neumann
8 10 Aug 1997 McDonald's WPGA Championship of Europe −12 (74-65-67-70=276) 4 strokes Scotland Kathryn Marshall, Sweden Charlotta Sörenstam
9 6 Jun 1998 Evian Masters (2) −11 (70-69-73- 65=277) 4 strokes Sweden Maria Hjorth
10 29 Jul 2001 WPGA Championship of Europe (2) −16 (67-70-68-71=276) 4 strokes Norway Suzann Pettersen
11 27 Jul 2008 Evian Masters^ (3) −15 (72-63-71-67=273) Playoff South Korea Na Yeon Choi, United StatesBrazil Angela Park

Note: The Women's British Open was not co-sanctioned by the LPGA until 1994, and did not become an LPGA major until 2001.
^The Evian Masters has been co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour since 2000.

Sources:[13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Ladies European Tour playoff record (4–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1990 Women's British Open Zimbabwe Jane Hill Won with par on fourth extra hole
2 1991 Hennessy Ladies Cup France Marie-Laure de Lorenzi
Australia Corinne Dibnah
Won with birdie on third extra hole
de Lorenzi eliminated with par on first hole
3 1996 Hennessy Cup England Trish Johnson
Sweden Liselotte Neumann
Won with birdie on second extra hole
Neumann eliminated on first hole
4 1996 Compaq Swedish Open Italy Federica Dassu
Scotland Kathryn Marshall
Dassu won with par on fourth extra hole
Alfredsson eliminated with par on third hole
5 2008 Evian Masters South Korea Na Yeon Choi
United StatesBrazil Angela Park
Won with birdie on third extra hole
Park eliminated with birdie on first hole

LPGA of Japan Tour wins (3)[edit]

  • 1991 Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open
  • 1992 Itoki Classic
  • 1997 Itoen Ladies

ALPG Tour wins (1)[edit]

  • 1991 Queensland Open

Swedish Golf Tour wins (4)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 27 Jul 1986 SM Trygg-Hansa Cup (as an amateur) Sweden Sofia Grönberg-Whitmore
2 26 Jul 1987 SM Trygg-Hansa Cup (2) (as an amateur) Sweden Cecilia Lundin
3 2 Jul 1988 Swedish International Trygg-Hansa Open (as an amateur) Sweden Sofia Grönberg-Whitmore
4 24 Jul 1988 Swedish Match-play Championship (3) (as an amateur) +2 (69-74-70-77=290) 8 strokes Sweden Carin Koch

Other wins (2)[edit]

Legends Tour wins (2)[edit]

Legend
Legends Tour major championships (2)
Other Legends Tour (0)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 19 May 2019 U.S. Senior Women's Open +1 (75-69-69-72=285) 2 strokes United States Juli Inkster England Trish Johnson
2 16 Oct 2019 Senior LPGA Championship −2 (72-72-70=214) 3 strokes United States Juli Inkster

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runners-up
1993 Nabisco Dinah Shore −4 (69-71-72-72=284) 2 strokes United States Tina Barrett, United States Amy Benz, United States Betsy King

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Kraft Nabisco Championship T49 1 T48 CUT T48 T54 T3 T10 T57
LPGA Championship T5 CUT T35 T38 CUT T67 T51 CUT CUT
U.S. Women's Open CUT T13 T2 T9 T40 CUT T48 T13 T12 CUT
du Maurier Classic T28 T8 T31 T9 CUT T14 T34 CUT T40
Tournament 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Kraft Nabisco Championship T46 T45 T64 T40 T35 T8 T37 T21 T12
LPGA Championship 9 CUT CUT T61 CUT CUT CUT T57
U.S. Women's Open T26 DQ CUT T23 CUT 2 WD
Women's British Open ^ T64 T40 T61 T60 T42 CUT CUT T56 CUT
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013
Kraft Nabisco Championship CUT CUT
LPGA Championship T42
U.S. Women's Open CUT
Women's British Open CUT CUT
The Evian Championship ^^ CUT

^ The Women's British Open replaced the du Maurier Classic as an LPGA major in 2001.
^^ The Evian Championship was added as a major in 2013.

  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
DQ = disqualified
WD = withdrew
T = tied

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Kraft Nabisco Championship 1 0 1 2 4 6 20 17
LPGA Championship 0 0 0 1 2 2 18 9
U.S. Women's Open 0 2 0 2 3 7 19 10
du Maurier Classic 0 0 0 0 2 3 9 7
Women's British Open 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 6
The Evian Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Totals 1 2 1 5 11 18 78 49
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 9 (1997 Kraft Nabisco Championship – 1999 Kraft Nabisco Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1993 U.S. Open – 1993 du Maurier Classic)

Team appearances[edit]

Amateur

Professional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Jansson, Anders (2004). Golf – Den stora sporten [Golf - The Great Sport] (in Swedish). Swedish Golf Federation. pp. 184, 192, 193, 195, 198, 209, 220, 224, 233. ISBN 91-86818007.
  2. ^ a b c "Helen Alfredsson Player Profile". LET. Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  3. ^ a b c "Helen Alfredsson Full Career Bio" (PDF). LPGA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Dialogue: Helen Alfredsson". Golf Digest. Archived from the original on 4 October 2001. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  5. ^ "1986 Telia Tour Results". Golfdata. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  6. ^ "1987 Telia Tour Results". Golfdata. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  7. ^ "1988 Telia Tour Results". Golfdata. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d Sport, Golf Expressen, 30 Nov 2018
  9. ^ Tantrums on tour
  10. ^ Positively Pessimistic
  11. ^ "Alfredssons karriär är över" [Alfredssons career is finished]. Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Stockholm, Sweden. 8 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Born to be Wild Helen Alfredsson, The Rock-and-Roll Soul of the LPGA Tour, lives - and plays the Game - at full Throttle". Sports Illustrated. No. 18. 8 May 1995. pp. 48–53.
  13. ^ Skrällen i British Open (in Swedish) Svensk Golf 8/1990, pp. 32-33
  14. ^ Resultat Svensk Golf 8/1991, pp. 63
  15. ^ Resultat Svensk Golf 9/1992, p. 63
  16. ^ Resultat Svensk Golf 10/1992, pp. 78-79
  17. ^ Resultat Svensk Golf 7/1994, p.47
  18. ^ Helen vinner igen (in Swedish) Svensk Golf 8/1996, p. 79 and 9/1996, p. 76
  19. ^ Resultat Svensk Golf, 8/1998, p 100

External links[edit]