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."

A superb third-round 65 saw Anna Nordqvist storm joint top of the leaderboard heading into the final round of the Women's Open.

The Swede shot the best score of the week on Saturday thanks to seven birdies, including at three of the last five holes, to move to nine under par for the championship alongside Norway's Nanna Koerstz Madsen.

Nordqvist, seeking her third major triumph, is even beginning to enjoy the inclement weather at Carnoustie as rain made for a sodden third round.

"I felt like I hit the ball really, really well last week in the hard wind at Dumbarnie in The Scottish Open," she said. "So, it's started to feel like it's come together.

"I feel like the last few weeks have been solid. I just haven't made as many putts or scored as well as I played.

"My caddie just told me to keep patient. In links golf you test your patience and I feel like I've had a great attitude this week.

"I love Carnoustie. I think it's a great venue and I'm just enjoying being back in Scotland."

Madsen is also at nine under after a third round of 68, with Lizette Salas a stroke further back.

There are four women at seven under par including Scottish amateur Louise Duncan, who carded a fine 68 to the delight of the home crowd.

World number one Nelly Korda and Georgia Hall, who held a share of the overnight lead, are at six under par.

Mina Harigae, who was level with Hall after Friday's play, shot a disappointing 76 on Saturday to fall six shots off the lead.

Mina Harigae and Georgia Hall shared the lead after the second round of the Women's Open at Carnoustie.

American Harigae carded a brilliant 67 on Friday to surge up the leaderboard, with three birdies in her first six holes setting up a strong day.

The 31-year-old had missed the cut in four of her seven majors on United Kingdom soil but ensured she would go into the weekend at the summit after a second successive birdie at the formidable 18th.

She sat alongside Hall at seven under par, the Englishwoman having shot a 69 despite a double bogey at the par-four 15th.

"I'm a much better golfer the last 12 months, I've been playing well," Harigae said. "I just feel like I'm in a good place.

"It was definitely a little softer out there and I thought it was a little breezier than when I played yesterday afternoon.

"So I didn't think it was easy conditions, but also I know it can be a lot tougher."

Kim Sei-young, one of the three to share the overnight lead after round one, was just a stroke further back, level with Lizette Salas.

World number one Nelly Korda and Madelene Sagstrom, who had matched Kim at five under on Thursday, each fell three strokes behind the leaders after second-round 73s.

The best round of the day belonged to Megan Khang, who made the cut at one under after a stunning round of 66 that included five birdies from the 11th to the 18th – a spectacular improvement on her opening-round 77.

Nelly Korda, Kim Sei-young and Madelene Sagstrom hold a share of the lead after the first round of the Women's Open.

World number one Korda has already won the Women's PGA Championship and an Olympic gold medal this year and the American set her sights on Open glory following her triumph in Tokyo.

The American made a great start at Carnoustie on Thursday, carding a five-under 67 to sit alongside Kim and Sagstrom at the top of the leaderboard.

Korda went out in 33 courtesy of four birdies and made another four gains in her final six holes, dropping shots at the 12th and 16th. 

Kim dropped just one shot at the 15, having made six birdies in the space of nine holes either side of the turn.

Sagstrom would be out on her own at six under but for a dropped shot at 18 in a round she started with four gains in her opening six holes,

Scot Louise Duncan, winner of the Women's Amateur Championship in June, got under way with an impressive four-under 68 on home soil, while Georgia Hall, Yuka Saso and Andrea Lee are also just one shot off the lead.

Lexi Thompson is well poised on three under along with Carlota Ciganda and Lizette Salas, with Hinako Shibuno and Inbee Park among the players a further stroke back.

Golf lionheart Nelly Korda admits Olympic gold medal success probably will not fully sink in until the end of the season as she turns her focus towards Carnoustie and the Women's Open.

The 23-year-old American has risen to world number one, landed a first major title and now snatched Tokyo 2020 glory in what is proving a stellar year in her young career.

She completed a second successive round of 69 to polish off victory on Saturday at the Kasumigaski Country Club, finishing one clear of Japan's Mone Inami, who won a silver medal play-off, and New Zealand's Lydia Ko.

The demands at the pinnacle of professional golf are such that, though Korda spoke of an "amazing" feeling at being an Olympic champion, she is well aware of what lies ahead for her in the coming weeks.

And so rather than going away to celebrate, Korda will be heading for Scotland on another working trip.

"It's honestly crazy. You're constantly looking ahead for your next event," she said. "One event you finish, and then next it’s like the British or Scottish [Open].

"It never really gets to sink in, in a sense. I'll look back at the season after the season is done but right now there's a lot of big events coming up, but when I do look back it’s just crazy.

“I think every win is special in its own way. I wouldn't say one win is more special or one win is bigger. Each win has a significant meaning to me.

"Obviously this is a huge honour, and it’s amazing to be a gold medallist - to even just be an Olympian and represent your country. You have to be at the top of the top to come to the Games."

Korda's parents, former Czech tennis stars Regina Rajchrtova and Petr Korda, have suggested she possesses the hunger of a queen of the jungle.

Asked about the focus she needed to find in the final round, when a storm delay held up play for 49 minutes in the closing holes, Korda said: "My parents always say that I'm a lion because always since a young age I've always been super determined and super focused on what I want, so I feel it's built inside of me."

Sister Jessica has even suggested Korda already belongs in the "G.O.A.T." - greatest of all time - conversation. Jessica finished outside the medals in a tie for 15th but nobody beat her closing 64 on Saturday.

The Scottish Open begins on Thursday and Korda is not currently listed as competing in that tournament, but she will be in the Women's Open field, with the tournament beginning on August 19.

After winning the Women's PGA Championship and following up in style in Japan this week, Korda will test her game on the Scottish links when Carnoustie stages its second women's major.

Korda had a second-round 62, which was the lowest round of the week, and that paved the way for her Olympic success.

"Safe to say I really enjoyed my first Olympic experience," she said.

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