August 24, 2021

Nordqvist tames Carnoustie to claim third major title

Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist won the AIG Women’s Open after a thrilling final day’s play at Carnoustie, which saw the lead change hands numerous times. 

Nordqvist closed with a three-under-par 69 for a 12-under-par total and a one-shot victory over a trio of players over the famous Scottish links. She claimed the winner’s cheque of $870,000 as part of the new largest prize fund in women’s major championship golf.

Nordqvist was level with Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen on the closing hole and the 34-year-old’s solid par four was good enough to triumph as her playing partner suffered a dramatic collapse after finding the bunker with her second shot and then shanking her third into rough behind the green. The ensuing double bogey saw her drop into a tie for fifth, with Minjee Lee, who stormed up the leaderboard with a 66.

Georgia Hall, Lizette Salas and Madelene Sagstrom, all finished tied second on 11-under-par, with the latter dropping a shot on the final hole to miss out on a potential play-off.

Nordqvist, who won the Women’s PGA Championship in 2009 and the Evian Championship in 2017, ignited her final-day success with three birdies in four holes from the sixth before a key par-3 save at the testing 16th. A host of challengers mounted their bid on a star-studded leaderboard during a dramatic final day at the Angus venue, most notably Hall, who eagled both the 6th and 12th en route to her closing 67. Salas, the runner-up in 2019, also had a chance on the 18th to reach 12-under-par, but her 20-foot birdie just missed the target.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a while,” said Nordqvist. “I haven’t won one [a major] in a few years. There have been a lot of downs since then, which makes it even sweeter. My husband is from Dundee, 20 minutes away from here, and this place is truly special. I have absolutely loved it here, especially with the fans back.”

Further down the leaderboard, Scotland’s Louise Duncan claimed the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur. The 21-year-old student, who will be playing in this week’s Curtis Cup in Wales, raised hopes of a title challenge after making a birdie on the first to sit one off the lead. In the end, the reigning British Women’s Amateur champion had to settle for a level-par 72 and a tie for 10th place on seven-under-par, which secured her return for next year’s AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield.

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