Ladies European Tour
Aug 23rd, 2021
Nordqvist wins thrilling AIG Women’s Open
Swede holds her nerve to grab a third major title
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 slipped with a double bogey.
Nordqvist, who won the Women’s PGA Championship in 2009 and the Evian Championship in 2017, celebrated with her husband, Kevin McAlpine, who hails from Dundee.
England’s Georgia Hall, the 2018 Champion, Lizette Salas from the USA and another Swede, Madelene Sagstrom, all finished tied second on eleven-under-par. Koerstz Madsen had to settle for a share of fifth place with Minjee Lee from Australia on 10-under-par.
Nordqvist, a past winner of the R&A Girls’ and Women’s Amateur championships, ignited her final-day success with three birdies in four holes from the sixth before a key par-3 save at the testing 16th.
"I've been waiting for this win for a while (first win since 2017). There have been a lot of downs and hard times so this makes it feel even sweeter. I could only dream of winning the AIG Women’s Open," said Nordqvist.
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 holes in her 67. Salas, the runner-up in 2019, also had a chance on the 18th to reach 12-under-par but missed her birdie putt.
It was Nordqvist’s day, as she claimed the winner's cheque of $870,000 as part of the new largest prize fund in women’s major championship golf.
Coming out on top of the international field of 144 players, which contained as many as 32 nationalities, Nordqvist lifted the iconic trophy in front of the delighted Carnoustie crowds.
With the fans enjoying glorious spells of afternoon sunshine – total attendance for the week was 28,758 – Louise Duncan shone to claim the prestigious Smyth Salver for leading amateur.
Ahead of her Curtis Cup debut at Conwy in Wales next week, the Scot raised hopes of a title challenge after making a birdie on the first to sit one off the lead. In the end, the 21-year-old had to settle for a level-par round of 72 and a tie for 10th place on seven-under-par, which secures her return for the 2022 AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield.
“I thought I handled it very well. I thought I would crumble a wee bit but seemed to hold my nerve out there and played well on the last day which was ultimately my goal," said Duncan.
"The fans were definitely out there. It was great to hear them cheering for me and I can’t thank them enough. I’ll definitely take this into the next few events and see whatever comes my way.”
Duncan joins an impressive roll of honour to claim the Smyth Salver, including Major champions Michelle Wie West (2005), Nordqvist (2008), Danielle Kang (2011), Lydia Ko (2012, 2013) and Hall (2013).
View final scores, news and video from the AIG Women’s Open at www.aigwomensopen.com