Home Swede home for Nordqvist at Founders

Anna Nordqvist poses with the trophy after winning the Bank Of Hope Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.
Anna Nordqvist poses with the trophy after winning the Bank Of Hope Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.PHOTO: AFP

PHOENIX • More than 8,000km separate the Swedish city of Eskilstuna from Phoenix, Arizona but for Anna Nordqvist, victory at the LPGA Founders Cup over the weekend felt like a win on home soil.

The 29-year-old, who enjoyed a successful college career at Arizona State University, claimed her seventh LPGA Tour win on Sunday after a final round of 68 at the Wildfire Golf Club saw her finish two shots clear of the field on 25-under 263.

Stacy Lewis (68), South Korea's Chun In Gee (66) and Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn (68) were in a three- way tie for second on 23-under.

It was world No. 2 Ariya's second runners-up finish this year, after placing second to South Korean Park In Bee at the HSBC Women's Champions earlier this month in Singapore.

Nordqvist, who is projected to move up two places in the world rankings to 11th and set a tournament record of 11-under with a 61 in the third round, said winning in Arizona was a different feeling.

"Of all my wins, this is probably going to be the one that's the most special," she said in a televised interview.

"If it wasn't for me getting an opportunity to come to Arizona State University about 10 years ago, I wouldn't be here today," said Nordqvist, who won US$225,000 (S$314,433).

"This truly feels like home, even though I'm based in Florida."

Chun laid down the strongest challenge with four birdies in her first seven holes but her momentum stalled, picking up just two more shots over her last 11 holes.

Nordqvist, who picked up her only Major at the 2009 Women's PGA Championship, opened with a birdie, picked up four more at the fifth, 10th, 13th and 17th holes, before finishing with a bogey on 18.

New Zealand's world No. 1 Lydia Ko shot a 68 and finished 20-under, tied-eighth in a bogey-free tournament.

American Michelle Wie shot 70, finishing tied-35th on 14-under after bogeying her last two holes.

The LPGA Tour moves to California next week for the US$2.7 million Kia Classic.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline 'Home Swede home for Nordqvist at Founders'. Print Edition | Subscribe