This year, 22 year-old Austrian amateur Christine Wolf is expected to play a leading role at the 2011 UNIQA Ladies Open, presented by Raiffeisen.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate is playing at the event for the first time, having qualified for the US Women’s Open earlier this year.
She started playing golf with her family 11 years ago and said: “I am from Innsbruck which is close to the mountains, so everybody thinks that I should be a skier rather than a golfer. Everyone in my family played golf so I started picking it up when I was eight or nine and ever since then I’ve loved it.”
Currently studying for a Masters in Marketing, she added that her game has developed considerably over the last four years in the United States: “I haven’t been at my best yet. I’ve been growing the past four years, I learned a lot more and my game developed a lot more.”
Back home in Austria, support has been plentiful. “In Austria we get a lot of support from the Austrian Federation and every club pretty much lets me play for free, so it’s really nice. They’ve always provided me with a coach and gave me money to fund my own coach so they are really supportive.”
Grateful for her opportunities whilst studying in the United States, she says that she is spoilt for choice when it comes to courses to play. “I got to play TPC Sawgrass last year which was a lot of fun and all the courses over there are in great shape. The US Open course, the Broadmoor, that I played this year, was just amazing. Also when I come here, there are so many nice courses that it’s hard to say which one is my favourite.”
On this week’s tournament, at Golfclub Föhrenwald in Wiener Neustadt, near Vienna, she said: “My goal is to just enjoy it and hopefully make the cut and make the best of it.”
Although she will be playing alongside seven other Austrian players including Stefanie Michl and Nicole Gergely, she is tipped as a future star.
Last year Austrian amateur Marina Stutz had a stand-out performance and could be the one to watch, but remember the name ‘Wolf’ as we may see more of her on Tour since she hopes to head to LET Qualifying School next winter.