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Shepaug Golf Star Mia Landegren to Attend University of Denver. Story by John Torsiello.

POSTED December 07, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


Shepaug High School junior Mia Landegren has made a name for herself in Connecticut high school golf circles and soon she will taking her game to the next level.
 After a hectic summer playing in Sweden with that country’s national junior team (her father and coach, Erik, is a native of that country and she has relatives there) and flying back to compete in the USGA’s Women’s National Public Links Championship in Oregon (where she narrowly missed the cut in brutal weather conditions), she reached a major decision recently when she announced early that she will be attending the University of Denver on a full scholarship beginning in the 2012-13 school year.
 
 The 16-year-old, who is one of triplets, visited a number of schools, including Boston College, Kentucky and Arizona State, but said she felt comfortable at Denver.
 “We went to Denver about a month ago and also made a trip to Arizona State,” she said recently. “I just loved everything about Denver and they offered me a full scholarship. It’s a great school with great coaches.”
 Landegren, who moved from Richer Park Golf Course to Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury this year because of better practice facilities at the latter club, said the rather small size of the school was also an attraction.
 “Coming from a small school like Shepaug, Denver was appealing. They have small class sizes and it allows you to get to know your professors and that is important for me. Deciding early where I’m going also helps me relax and enjoy the rest of my high school career.”
  
The University of Denver has one of the top Division I women’s golf programs in the nation and has been ranked in the top 10 the last several years.
 “By the time I get there I think we will have the potential to win a national title. They are building a brand new indoor golf practice facility.”
Landegren said Denver’s coaches indicated to her that she will be an integral part of their program once she arrives on campus. She will begin training regimens the UD coaches set up for their incoming players even though she is a year and a half away from joining the team.
When you think of Denver, you think Rocky Mountains and lots of snow during the winter. But Landegren, despite her Scandinavian heritage, doesn’t plan on hitting the slopes at UD.
“They don’t allow us to ski because of the danger of injury. But that’s all right because I don’t ski anyways.”
Playing number one for the Spartans, she was arguably the best player in the Berkshire League last season. This going against boys and playing from a longer set of tees than would be considered standard for high school girls teams. She certainly would have been a BL All-Star last year had it not been for her decision to skip the season-ending league tournament held to determine such honors at Harwinton’s Fairview Farm in order to compete in the Connecticut Women’s Open.
The Bridgewater resident rectified the situation when she went on to earn All-State honors at the CIAC Boys Division IV golf tournament at Timberlin Golf Club in Kensington.
On making All-State, she said, “It was a goal of mine and I was very excited to make the top 10. I played pretty well and went into the tournament confident. It was greens in regulation and playing steady golf.”
She finished three shots behind winner Eric Johnson of East Catholic. Landegren, who made two birdies, went out early and was the leader in the clubhouse for almost five hours before Portland’s Jon Sajdak came in with a 74.
“Playing Tallwood helped me in the qualifying for the Public Links,” she said. “I had some course knowledge. I had a good day driving the ball but my putting was a little off or I would have shot lower.”
She made 15 pars and three bogeys on her round over the par-72 layout.
After finishing off the 2011 Berkshire League season in strong fashion with four straight nine-hole rounds in the 30’s, she attempted to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open at Crestview Country Club in Agawam, Ma., missing the cut.
Landegren also finished third at the Connecticut Women’s Amateur after holding the lead for much of the tournament before a final round stumble dropped her to third.
Landegren said she is looking forward to competing with her Shepaug team this spring and also plans to play a comprehensive schedule of high profile tournaments throughout 2012.
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