Big Golfer Spotlight: Robert Karlsson
Robert Karlsson, also known as “The Scientist,” for his analytical style of play, is a Swedish pro golfer who has played on both the European and PGA Tours. Karlsson is one of the tallest golfers on the European Tour at 6’ 5”. We at Big Country are curious what his glove size is. His PR team declined to comment, but we're guessing 3XL.
Robert was born in Katrineholm, Sweden in 1969 where his father worked for the local golf club as a greenskeeper. In 1989, he turned pro and qualified for membership on the European Tour at the 1990 Qualifying School. With a steady career on tour, a major highlight was in 2008 when he won the Order of Merit. Karlsson has finished in the Top 20 for this award seven times in his career and has won 11 events on tour.
During the 2006 Celtic Manor Wales Open, he broke the European Tour's scoring records for 36 hole and 54 holes by shooting 124 the first two rounds and 189 the first three. But, since the course was a par 69, which is not common at the top level, his to-par scores were less striking 14 under after two rounds and 18 under after three.
Robert's second victory of 2006 was in July at the Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe. This helped him to reach the Top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings. In 2008, he entered the Top 25. Winning at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship took him to number 8 in October 2008. Two weeks later, with a T3 finish at the Portugal Masters he was at number 6. Karlsson has spent over 25 weeks in the Top 10 since 2008.
Robert Karlsson was a member of the Continental Europe team in the Seve Trophy in 2000, 2002 and 2007. In 1999, Robert was ranked eleventh on the Ryder Cup qualifying table just shy of qualifying for the last automatic place. In 2006, he made his Ryder Cup debut when he was 37 years old. Playing again in 2008, he formed a partnership with Pádraig Harrington in the foursomes and beat Justin Leonard 5 & 3 in the singles that Sunday.
Finishing the season strong, Karlsson then went on to become the first Swedish golfer to win the Order of Merit in 2008. This achievement combined with others, helped Karlsson to win the Swedish male athlete of the year at the Swedish Sports Gala in January 2009, also a first for a Swedish male golfer.
Robert Karlsson is also a member of the "Champions for Peace" club, an elite group of 54 famous athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport.
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