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Feb 14

Daniela Holmqvist

Daniela Holmqvist: Tough Golfer Outlasts Black Widow

First off, we’re talking about the Swedes here. Yes, they are the ones who flattened everything from Iceland to the British isles, and threatened to turn most of Europe into a sno-cone existence. They explore far-off lands. They are tough, arctic-forged and single-minded when it comes to victory, whether it’s with battle axes or golf clubs.

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In previous articles, I’ve concluded that golf is not necessarily the safe sport it is purported to be. We’ve had sharks fall out of the sky in California and charging lions in Africa. In further readings, I’ve come across a golfer who was attacked by a crow in his golf cart. Apparently, it went for his eyes. Another poor gentleman stepped to the right to see where his drive had gone, impaling himself on a sharp tee box. Who designed that one? Someone broke everything below the waist line after slipping on a railroad tie, causing me to ask what a railroad tie was doing on a golf course in the first place, outside of adding some decorative character.


Even putting has its dangers, as was learned by a hapless player who was rewarded for sinking his putt, cutting his hands on the shards of a shattered flag stick. There has even been a case where a golfer who, feeling fine one moment, took the club back over his head, and froze in place before he could start the downswing – yes, shoulders and arms just stuck in place. That must have been an out-of-the-ordinary entrance to the emergency room.

But back to the point – we’re talking about the Swedes – the international tough guys…and girls. Daniela Holmqvist is a rookie on the European Ladies Tour. She’s new, so I can understand her wanting to not only make a good impression, but get to the winning thing as quickly as possible.  Holmqvist graduated a year ago from the University of California with an admirable record. Like her ancestors, she was exploring the far-off land of Australia.

Daniela HolmqvistComing out of the rough on an early hole, she felt a sting above her ankle, and looking down, watched a black widow spider, hourglass and all, scurry away. The local caddies responded with great seriousness, informing her that such a spider can kill a child within a half hour, and that she’d better get help. That, however, would mean cutting her qualifying round short – no way, Gustavus, no way.

Daniela continued to play, and her leg continued to swell. Although she is reported to have finished the round in the company of a medic, little else is said of this health professional, who was certainly not jumping to the fore at the big moment, that instant where Daniela Holmqvist decided that her leg had swollen enough, and something had to be done.

Bringing to mind forest creatures who chew their limbs off to escape a trap, or trapped hikers who practice self-amputation to escape being pinned underwater by boulders, Holmqvist opened up her leg to release an enormous amount of “clear fluid.” No scalpels or tourniquets. She did it all with a golf tee – just dug in there and took it out before continuing to play.

Ordinarily, it might not be the greatest scoring around, but Daniela finished with a 74, not bad at all considering the extreme action taken. She’s under careful monitoring now, and is still anxious to know when she can begin working out again. Apparently, that was one of her first questions of the doctor, who responded with what she described as “a death stare.”

The culture who created Ingmar Johanson, Annika Sorenstam and Eric the Red is still going strong. Keep your eye on Daniela Holmqvist.

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About the author

G.F. Skipworth

has spent every available moment playing golf or studying the greats since the 60s, in between world tours as a classical musician, Harvard studies in Government or as the author of a dozen novels. Nicklaus and Snead may be the statistical greats, but Skipworth is a life-long devotee of Gary Player, and considers meeting the South African at the Jeld-Wen to be an unforgettable milestone. His driving passion in golf these days is to raise viewer interest in the LPGA.