Anna Nordqvist, the new Women’s British Open Champion, is having the best year of her career.
The gifted Swede took four years to win her third career major, but it came at a time when her personal life was also flourishing.
Quality and quantity have not always been in perfect accord throughout Anna Nordqvist’s golf career.
On Sunday, the 34-year-old Swede won her third LPGA major title, winning the AIG Women’s British Open by one stroke at Carnoustie Golf Links. Three majors doesn’t seem like a lot to Nordqvist in certain ways.
After all, she was well respected when she graduated from Arizona State in 2009, and in only her fifth LPGA Tour appearance that year, she won a major tournament. That scenario suggests she’d be winning them on a regular basis. There are plenty of them.
Nordqvist’s reputation as a cool customer, a fantastic ball-striker, and a big-time talent grew as she was sold with Solheim Cup clips. She didn’t win another major until the Evian Championship eight years later, in 2017. After that, she didn’t win another until Carnoustie, four years and 1,435 days later.
In the last 12 years, there have been three majors. To be sure, it’s nothing to sneer at. However, it does not appear to be a large number… Until you put things in context, that is. With another strong performance from Nordqvist last week on another strong golf course, quantity has finally caught up with quality.
When Nanna Koerstz Madsen collapsed while attempting to navigate Carnoustie’s infamous 18th, and others like Lizette Salas, Madelene Sagstrom, and Georgia Hall faltered, Nordqvist’s third major became all about the aggregate.
She ended a run of nine consecutive LPGA major tournaments won by first-time major champions. Nordqvist made history by becoming the first non-American woman to win majors in three decades. She is only the third European woman to win three majors, joining Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies.
You’re looking for both quantity and quality? You figured it out.
Afterward, Nordqvist stated, “Yeah, it’s been a long time.”
“Last year, I had a decent chance to win, but I didn’t make it. You’re unsure whether it’ll happen again or not. But knowing it’s the British Open has made the wait worthwhile. “
“I believe this is the most special one,” she added. Just because it took me a couple of years and I fought so hard and wondered if I was doing the right things. “
If not for circumstances, Nordqvist may have added to these exceptional numbers and had additional majors. Nordqvist was in a playoff with Brittany Lang at CordeValle at the 2016 Women’s U.S. Open when a high-definition television viewer spotted her touching a speck of sand with her 5-iron as she prepared to hit a bunker approach to the 17th green with her 5-iron. She didn’t find out that she’d been given a two-stroke penalty until she was about to hit her third shot on the par-5 18th hole. Lang’s triumph was effectively sealed by the penalty.
Not only that, but there’s more. Nordqvist afflicted with glandular fever halfway through the 2017 season (mononucleosis). For a long period, the sickness depleted her vitality and affected her energy levels.
She won Evian barely three months after being diagnosed, which is incredible. With the remaining concerns, she wasn’t out of the woods yet.
Nordqvist added, “I don’t think a lot of people appreciate how difficult that was.” “And it took me a good three years just because I didn’t have any energy and didn’t feel like I had the mental strength or the additional gear that I’d always had.”
Nordqvist claims that the Covid 19 pandemic, which has pushed individuals from all walks of life to rearrange their schedules around the world, has compelled her to make beneficial changes.
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Nordqvist described Covid as both a godsend and a burden. “Because it caused me to slow down my pace a little bit,
and I was able to spend more time at home than I had previously. And I’ve been a pro since 2009, so it’s nice to feel like I’m at home (helpful). I haven’t been home in nine weeks, and I can’t wait to see my family tomorrow. “
Nordqvist has proven an ability to stay collected and patient throughout her golf career, excelling on difficult golf courses and coping with high-pressure circumstances. Now, while she awaits the ceremonial marriage of her husband, Kevin McAlpine, she is demonstrating it in one of life’s major moments. Earlier this year, the two married in a civil ceremony.
McAlpine is the son of Hamish McAlpine, a former star goalkeeper for Dundee United in the Scottish Football League, who grew up 14 miles southwest of Carnoustie. Kevin McAlpine was a talented young golfer who won the Scottish Amateur Championship in 2006.
Since then, he’s built a solid reputation as a caddy, working for Lexi Thompson, Amy Yang, and, most recently, Martin Laird. McAlpine and Nordqvist had intended to marry in a Scottish castle, but the epidemic forced them to postpone their wedding. They plan to hold the formal event the following year.
Nordqvist added, “We’ve postponed us what I’d call an actual wedding or big wedding-the one with our friends and family-till next summer.”
” It’ll be roughly a 20-minute drive from here to the castle.
“However, we did get married in the United States in March at our home club, Silver Leaf, in Scottsdale, Arizona, with only ourselves and six of our friends present. On Zoom, we had around 21 people on 21 separate accounts.
“It was a memorable day, and I’m looking forward to walking down the aisle in Scotland next year.”
Anna Nordqvist has had her fair share of “exceptional days,” both in terms of quality and quantity.
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Anna Nordqvist, New Women’s British Open Champion, Enjoys Greatest Career Triumph