Hedwall ready to relax after breakthrough year

Caroline Hedwall on Thursday at the CME Group Titleholders at Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Caroline Hedwall won three times on the LET as a rookie and secured victory for Europe at the Solheim Cup with a halve in the penultimate match. What did she do to reward herself?

“I bought a new bed,” she said.

Apparently standard beds in her native Sweden are a mere 90 centimeters. She decided this fall she had earned “a proper bed.” Hedwall, 22, still lives with her parents, which is understandable given that she wasn’t home for more than a 10-day stretch this year.

Hedwall began her year in January with a a victory at the New South Wales Open, her professional debut. The 2010 NCAA champion played in 18 LET events this year, winning three times and finishing runner-up at the Dutch Ladies Open.

At the Solheim Cup, Hedwall learned her short game needed improving after she played against the U.S. team of Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel. She’ll get plenty of up-close looks next year when she plays the LPGA full-time.

“She reminds me a bit of myself a little bit when I was young,” Suzann Pettersen said before the Solheim Cup. “No fear, just goes out and plays her game.”

Heading back out the course after the final rain delay on Sunday in Ireland, Pettersen jumped on a cart with Hedwall and fellow rookie Azahara Munoz. All week Munoz had begged Pettersen for a pep talk.

“We get on the cart, and I looked at her, and I said, ‘You need a pep talk? This cart takes three points. We need three points. This is it. This cart is it. This is the cart.’ ”

Pettersen and Munoz delivered their points, and Hedwall got the all-important halve.

Hedwall shows bursts of emotion on the course that rival Pettersen, but the natural comparison is her compatriot, Annika Sorenstam.

“Pretty much since I got on the Swedish National team, everyone is comparing me to Annika,” said Hedwall, who has a twin sister at LSU. “I want be one of the best players in the world. … I think I can get there.”

Hedwall shot 72 on Day 1 at the CME Group Titleholders and, like many players, she’s ready for a break. There’s plenty of downhill skiing in her future. Odds are she’s fairly aggressive on the slopes as well.

“I think right now I’ve learned that I need to go on vacation,” Hedwall said.

And catch a few winks in that new big bed.

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