Nordqvist edges Altomare to claim Evian title

Sweden's Anna Nordqvist clinched her second Major win with victory at the Evian Championship yesterday, coming from five strokes back to take the title.
Sweden's Anna Nordqvist clinched her second Major win with victory at the Evian Championship yesterday, coming from five strokes back to take the title.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

EVIAN (France) • A year after losing the US Women's Open in a playoff to Brittany Lang following a controversial two-shot penalty, Anna Nordqvist earned her second Major title with a play-off victory at the Evian Championship in France yesterday.

The Swede was administered a two-shot penalty during last year's play-off at the US Women's Open after video review showed she had grounded her club in a bunker on an approach shot.

It took 15 months for Nordqvist to have another shot at a Major, but this time she capitalised, coming from five strokes back to win.

The 30-year-old world No. 13, carded two eagles in a six-under 66 to finish nine under with unheralded American Brittany Altomare, reported the BBC.

In torrential rain, Nordqvist won at the first extra hole with a bogey five.

The 30-year-old earned US$547,500 (S$736,694) for winning her first Major since the 2009 LPGA Championship.

Altomare got US$340,000 for only her second career top-10 finish.

The event was reduced to 54 holes after Thursday's opening round was abandoned because of high winds and heavy rain.

After a hailstorm left puddles on the 18th green which had to be cleared by the greenkeepers for the sudden-death play-off, both players were off the green in three shots at the par four.

Nordqvist was much closer with her chip and holed from four feet to record her second Major title.

Her victory ensured 10 different Major winners in the last two seasons.

It was a remarkable win as she was sidelined for much of July and August with a particularly nasty bout with mononucleosis.

Finally feeling mostly healthy, though still not 100 per cent, she returned to play in the Evian Championship.

"I was obviously hoping that it was going to be short, but it definitely has been a little bit of a process, longer than expected," Nordqvist said of her recovery.

Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn, whose former world No. 1 sister Ariya won last year's British Open, was one shot ahead going into the final round.

The pair would have made LPGA Tour history by becoming the first sisters to win a Major, but 23-year-old Moriya dropped a shot at the final hole in a level-par round of 72 to finish one behind the leaders.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2017, with the headline 'Nordqvist edges Altomare to claim Evian title'. Print Edition | Subscribe