May 3, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - Sophomore Sofie Andersson earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors after leading Cal with a ninth-place showing at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. Andersson transferred to Cal after being selected second team All-SEC as a freshman at Mississippi State. The Swedish national team star discusses her Cal experience, life in Sweden and the Bears prospects for success in the postseason.
How has your Cal experience been so far?
"So far, it's great. It's a big difference from Mississippi State. Mississippi was a big difference from Sweden and California is a big difference from Mississippi. I love it here, the whole package - school, team, golf courses, weather, everything. I transferred because I felt that I could get on a better team. The competition at Cal has been fun."
What is your hometown of Angelholm, Sweden like?
"Sweden has a population of only 8.5 million. It's not even as big as Los Angeles' population. I live in the South part. We have really nice, long summers from the end of May to the beginning of September. Then we get snow in December and January. It's pretty cold. You don't play golf outside. My little city...well, I don't live in the city. The city is first of all on the West Coast of Sweden. We have nice beaches we go to in the summer. I grew up on a farm 10 minutes outside of the city. There's nothing around our farm. It's just our little house and barn and fields. It's really pretty."
What brought you to the United States?
"Golf. You can't play golf all year round in Sweden. There's also the best college golf over here. You can go study in Sweden. You can't do a sport. It's too hard. The days are too short. It's too dark in the winter."
What has the experience been like playing on the Swedish national team?
"I've been playing with the team since 1999. I've been everywhere in Europe. It's a lot of fun. We go to play tournaments. This summer, I'll play four tournaments with the top European players. We go to Scotland and England. We play team and individual tournaments. We play the amateur British Open. We get to try to qualify for the real British Open. You get to play cool courses and with good players."
What other interests do you have besides golf?
"I like cooking and baking a lot. I like shopping. I like working out, taking care of my own health. I love being outside. I don't like to sit inside at all."
How does shopping near Cal compare to around Mississippi State?
"In Mississippi, the closest mall was like an hour and a half away. In Starksville, there was a Wal-Mart and a movie theater. That's the only things you could do if you weren't practicing and studying. School wasn't as hard, so you didn't have to study as much. So, there was a lot of time left over. It was kind of boring. Any time we went to a tournament if we had time left over, we were like, 'Coach, we need to go shopping. We can't do that at home.'"
Was it exciting for you to lead the team at the Pac-10 Championships?
"We're always changing who is playing the best. Sophia, Sarah, Anna and Claire. We're always different. It's not like someone is always leading the team. There's always competition."
How are you feeling about the team's chances heading into NCAA Regionals?
"I'm really excited. We have a really good chance at regionals and nationals. I think we're going to peak at the right time."