Robert Karlsson

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Robert Karlsson
Robert Karlsson.jpg
Personal information
Full nameRobert Karlsson
NicknameThe Scientist
Born (1969-09-03) 3 September 1969 (age 50)
Katrineholm, Sweden
Height1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight95 kg (209 lb; 15.0 st)
Nationality Sweden
ResidenceCharlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Turned professional1989
Current tour(s)European Tour (joined 1991)
Former tour(s)PGA Tour (joined 2011)
Professional wins12
Highest ranking6 (19 October 2008)[1]
Number of wins by tour
European Tour11
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT8: 2008
PGA ChampionshipT4: 2011
U.S. OpenT4: 2008
The Open ChampionshipT5: 1992
Achievements and awards
European Tour
Order of Merit winner

Robert Karlsson (born 3 September 1969) is a Swedish professional golfer who has played on the European Tour and the PGA Tour.


Karlsson was born in Katrineholm, Sweden where his father was a greenskeeper at the local golf club. He turned professional in 1989 and qualified for membership of the European Tour at the 1990 Qualifying School. Since then he has retained his card and has had a steady career on tour, the highlight of which came in 2008 when he won the Order of Merit. He has finished in the top twenty of the Order of Merit seven times throughout his career and has won eleven events on tour.

At the 2006 Celtic Manor Wales Open, Karlsson broke the European Tour's 36 hole and 54 hole scoring records by shooting 124 for the first two rounds and 189 for the first three. However as the course was a par 69, which is rare at the top level, his to-par scores were less remarkable 14 under after two rounds and 18 under after three.

Karlsson's second victory of 2006 at the Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe in July helped him reach the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings and in 2008 he entered the top 25. His win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship took him to number 8 in October 2008.[2] A T3 finish at the Portugal Masters two weeks later took him to number 6. He has spent over 25 weeks in the top-10 since 2008.[3]

Karlsson was a member of the Continental Europe team in the Seve Trophy in 2000, 2002 and 2007. In 1999 he was eleventh on the Ryder Cup qualifying table just missing out on the last automatic place, and was not selected as a captain's pick. He made his Ryder Cup debut in 2006, at the age of 37, along with fellow Swede Henrik Stenson. He played again in 2008, forming a partnership with Pádraig Harrington in the foursomes and beating Justin Leonard 5 & 3 in the singles on Sunday.

After a strong finish to the season, Karlsson won the Order of Merit in 2008, being the first Swedish golfer to do so. Because the name of the money list changes to the "Race to Dubai" beginning with the 2009 season, it was the final "Order of Merit" win. This achievement, among other things, resulted in him winning Swedish male athlete of the year at the Swedish Sports Gala in January 2009, also a Swedish male golfer first.

Karlsson is one of the tallest golfers on the European Tour at 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Like many leading Swedish golfers he lives outside his home country, basing himself in the tax haven of Monaco.

In June 2009, Karlsson suffered from an eye injury, with no depth-perception in his left eye. It occurred during the week of the St. Jude Classic, the week before the U.S. Open, which Karlsson was set to play in, teeing off in the first round with fellow Swede Henrik Stenson. The eye injury caused Karlsson to withdraw from the event and he missed most of the rest of the 2009 season. He returned for The Vivendi Trophy toward the end of the season, and completed his recovery by claiming his tenth Tour title at the 2010 Commercialbank Qatar Masters the following January.[4] In June, Karlsson lost in a sudden death playoff to Lee Westwood at the St. Jude Classic.[5] In 2011, Karlsson was again in a playoff at the St. Jude Classic, where he lost to long-suffering veteran Harrison Frazar.

Karlsson is a member of the "Champions for Peace" club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.[6]

Karlsson is known as "The Scientist" for his contemplative and analytical style of play.[7][8]

Professional wins (12)[edit]

European Tour wins (11)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 26 Feb 1995 Turespana Open Mediterrania −12 (64-69-71-72=276) 3 strokes Sweden Anders Forsbrand, Spain Miguel Ángel Jiménez,
Sweden Jarmo Sandelin, Scotland Sam Torrance
2 31 Aug 1997 BMW International Open −24 (67-67-64-66=264) Playoff England Carl Watts
3 24 Oct 1999 Belgacom Open −12 (69-68-69-66=272) 1 stroke South Africa Retief Goosen, England Jamie Spence
4 22 Apr 2001 Via Digital Open de España −11 (68-68-71-70=277) 2 strokes France Jean-François Remésy
5 8 Sep 2002 Omega European Masters −14 (65-66-68-71=270) 4 strokes South Africa Trevor Immelman, Scotland Paul Lawrie
6 4 Jun 2006 Celtic Manor Wales Open −16 (61-63-65-71=260) 3 strokes England Paul Broadhurst
7 30 Jul 2006 Deutsche Bank Players Championship
of Europe
−25 (64-66-66-67=263) 4 strokes South Africa Charl Schwartzel, England Lee Westwood
8 14 Sep 2008 Mercedes-Benz Championship −13 (67-69-68-71=275) 2 strokes Italy Francesco Molinari
9 5 Oct 2008 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship −10 (67-70-76-65=278) Playoff England Ross Fisher, Germany Martin Kaymer
10 31 Jan 2010 Commercialbank Qatar Masters −15 (68-70-70-65=273) 3 strokes Spain Álvaro Quirós
11 28 Nov 2010 Dubai World Championship −14 (65-75-67-67=274) Playoff England Ian Poulter

European Tour playoff record (3–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1992 Moroccan Open England David Gilford Lost to birdie on third extra hole
2 1997 BMW International Open England Carl Watts Won with par on third extra hole
3 2001 Victor Chandler British Masters Sweden Mathias Grönberg, England David Howell,
France Thomas Levet
Levet won with birdie on third extra hole
Howell and Karlsson eliminated by par on first hole
4 2006 EnterCard Scandinavian Masters Scotland Marc Warren Lost to par on second extra hole
5 2008 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship England Ross Fisher, Germany Martin Kaymer Won with birdie on first extra hole
6 2010 Dubai World Championship England Ian Poulter Won with birdie on second extra hole

PGA Tour playoff record (0–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2010 St. Jude Classic United States Robert Garrigus, England Lee Westwood Westwood won with birdie on fourth extra hole
Garrigus eliminated with par on first hole
2 2011 FedEx St. Jude Classic United States Harrison Frazar Lost to par on third extra hole

Other wins (1)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open CUT
The Open Championship T77 T5 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship T65 T41
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament T30 T8 CUT
U.S. Open T45 CUT CUT T4
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT T35 CUT T7
PGA Championship CUT CUT T29 T57 T20
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Masters Tournament T43 T27 T50
U.S. Open T27 T45 T29 71
The Open Championship T14 CUT CUT T12
PGA Championship T16 T4 CUT T46
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place.


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 5
U.S. Open 0 0 0 1 1 1 9 6
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 2 4 17 6
PGA Championship 0 0 0 1 1 3 11 8
Totals 0 0 0 3 5 9 43 25
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (2010 Masters – 2011 U.S. Open)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (2008 Masters – 2008 Open Championship)

Results in World Golf Championship events[edit]

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 R64 R64
Cadillac Championship T53 NT1 21 T11 T30
Bridgestone Invitational T77 T62 T69 T20
Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 R32 R32 R32
Cadillac Championship T31 62 T31 T20
Bridgestone Invitational T65 T17
HSBC Champions T34 T56

1Cancelled due to 9/11

  Did not play

QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Week 42 2008 Ending 19 Oct 2008" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  2. ^ Week 40 – Robert Karlsson Breaks into the World Top 10 with Victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Archived 10 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine – Official World Golf Rankings, 5 October 2008
  3. ^ "Players who have reached the Top Ten in the Official World Golf Ranking since 1986". European Tour Official Guide 09 (PDF) (38th ed.). PGA European Tour. 2009. p. 558. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Sweden's Robert Karlsson wins Qatar Masters in Doha". BBC Sport. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Westwood, Karlsson and Garrigus in St. Jude playoff". Yahoo News. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2010.[dead link]
  6. ^ Peace and Sport Archived 29 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "After 2009, everything seems like a bonus". 16 October 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Clay Smith on Robert Karlsson". 10 November 2014. External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]