Women's Open: Nordqvist lands Carnoustie glory as Madsen falls at the last

By Sports Desk August 22, 2021

Anna Nordqvist won the Women's Open to land her third major title after a dramatic twist on the famous 18th hole at Carnoustie.

The 34-year-old became the first Swedish golfer since Annika Sorenstam in 2003 to triumph at the tournament, and a par at the last was enough after playing partner and co-leader Nanna Koerstz Madsen finished with a double bogey.

Rather than coming unstuck as the latest victim of the Barry Burn, Madsen found a greenside bunker with her approach and shanked the escape, meaning the Dane was chipping onto the green with her fourth shot. Madsen finished with a double bogey, completing a miserable end to the tournament.

She had led at 13 under when teeing off at 15 but found sand there too and dropped a shot, before slipping from a share of the lead at the last to finish tied for fifth on 10 under, the anticipated play-off not required.

It meant Nordqvist's closing round of three-under-par 69, which took her to 12 under for the tournament, gave her the trophy glory and $870,000 top prize.

Second place on 11 under was shared by three players: Madelene Sagstrom (68), also of Sweden, American Lizette Salas (69) and Britain's Georgia Hall (67).

Sagstrom dropped a shot at 18 long before the drama unfolded with Madsen. Sagstrom was also at the centre of attention on the first hole when her tee shot was grabbed from the fairway and tossed around before being written off as inedible by the guilty party – a local bird.

Nordqvist's husband Kevin McAlpine is a caddie for Martin Laird on the PGA Tour and the couple's paths have rarely crossed in recent months, but he was on hand to witness his wife adding to her 2009 LPGA Championship and 2017 Evian Championship titles.

"I've been waiting for this for a while," said Nordqvist at the trophy presentation. "I haven't won in a couple of years. There have been a lot of downs, a lot of hard times. This makes it feel even sweeter.

"I definitely was wearing out my heartbeats there at the end. I think it's a great finish. The wind died down a little bit but it can play pretty brutal. I think it's been a key that I played those last four really well all week.

"I had my husband Kevin there for me every single year since Evian, since I won last time. I could only dream about winning the British Open.

"My husband's from 20 minutes away from here. I was supposed to get married 20 minutes away from here. So this place is truly special. I've never seen Carnoustie in this great of a shape. I love the fans being back, having an atmosphere, so thank you so much."

She said of her married life: "It's been a tough year for the both of us. We've been on different tours, so prior to Thursday I hadn't seen him for six and a half weeks due to my travel schedule.

"It was really nice to have him here. My caddie's Scottish too and they know a little about links golf so that's been a great experience to have."

The Smyth Salver for the leading amateur went to 21-year-old Louise Duncan, the Scot finishing on seven under after a level-par 72 to finish.

Hall went close to delivering a home champion and wrote on Twitter: "Gutted not to get the win but proud of how I played this week."

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