By Bridget Connolly, Morehead State Athletic Media Relations
Second in a series highlighting international student-athletes at Morehead State, their cultures, and why they chose to attend Morehead State. If you are an international student, there are wonderful resources to help you attend MSU. Click here for more information. This series is also being researched and written by an international student-athlete herself, Bridget Connollyfrom New Zealand.
MOREHEAD, Ky. — This fall Morehead State will be adding two talented freshmen, Ruth Tonnessen and Tuva Marie Isebakke from Norway, to the women’s golf team. Although the program has had several student-athletes from Scandinavian countries like Sweden or Denmark, this is the first time the women’s golf team has had players from Norway.
Ruth and Tuva are both excited to join the team as they are most looking forward to being able to be part of a team and playing with other golf driven girls, rather than playing and competing as an individual.
They have both been very successful in their individual golf careers.
“My two biggest accomplishments so far have been being picked for the Norwegian team to play in the 2021 European girls championship, and secondly was winning and setting a course record in the oldest age group on the Srixon tour,” Tonnessen said.
This is also known as the Norwegian national elite junior tour.
“My biggest accomplishment is winning the national junior championship by 16 strokes last year,” Isebakke added.
Although both Tuva and Ruth are very excited to become Eagles and start competing this fall, they both expressed they will miss their family and friends and are nervous about living so far away from home. They also have many different things they love and will miss about their home in Norway.
Tuva says she loves the culture at home, especially the Norwegian food and lakes and beaches and Ruth says she “loves everything about home but if I have to pick one, I think it would have to be the national costume/ bunad. There is just so many details and traditions in all of the different designs”.
Ruth and Tuva have been playing golf for a large part of their lives, both starting at the age of five and have loved the game ever since.
“Once when I was five my dad took me out to the club where he was a member and I got to pick out my first golf bag and set of clubs. It was a black and light pink bag with light pink clubs inside. My dad wanted me to try out golf since my entire family on his side were golfers.Then after some time I just fell in love with it, and I have stuck with it ever since,” Ruth shared.
Tuva also shares her story.
“When I was born my parents moved to a place near the course, and we also became neighbors with my cousins. My cousins are five and six years older than me, and they took me to the course and taught me the game. When I was 13, I chose to quit golf. I have always played golf and handball, but I didn’t have time for both anymore. So, I chose to play handball instead. I was also the captain of the team. When I was 14 I got an inflammation in both of my knees and couldn’t play handball anymore.
She became “bitten by the bacillus” – a Norwegian phrase.
Aside from golf Tuva’s likes are, “to bake, go to the mall, be with friends and watch Netflix.”
She is also looking to pursue a major in something with marketing, finance or economics and after college would like to play professionally on the LPGA or on the LET (Ladies European tour).
Ruth likes to spend time with her family.
“My family is very important to me, I like to knit as my grandmother taught me when I was around 7 or 8, and for me it is a nice way to take my mind off other things. Finally, I like to watch Netflix. “
Ruth is unsure of what to major in but has an interest in exercise science. After graduation she also wants “to pursue a career inside golf, maybe as a professional golfer or maybe as a coach. I want to give back to what gave me a place to zone out from everything else for a few hours. I want to give someone else the same great experience I have had.”
To follow both Tuva and Ruth and the rest of the women’s golf team this coming season, you can follow live scoring posted on the women’s golf page on the MSUEagles.com website.