Nordqvist wins Founders Cup on Phoenix 'home soil'
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[March 20, 2017]
(Reuters) - More than 5,000
miles 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-par.
Stacy Lewis, South Korea's Chun In-gee and Thai Ariya Jutanugarn
finished in a three-way tie for second on 23-under, with three more
South Koreans - Park In-bee, Jang Ha-na and Ryu So-yeon - two shots
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.
"This truly still feels like home, even though I'm based in Florida.
"I wasn't even going to play (here) a couple of weeks ago and just
ended up adding it at the last minute, so maybe it was meant to be,"
added Nordqvist, who picked up $225,000 for the win.
Nordqvist was always going to struggle to match Saturday's effort,
when she carded nine birdies and an eagle in a flawless third round,
but she did enough to protect the two-stroke lead she started out
Last season's Evian Championship winner Chun laid down the strongest
challenge with four birdies in her first seven holes but her
momentum then stalled and she picked up just two more shots over her
last 11 holes.
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Anna Nordqvist of Sweden drives the ball on the 6th tee box during
the second round at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club. Eric
Bolte-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images
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 ending the round on
a sour note with a bogey on 18.
"I think I could only have dreamed of winning on what feels like for
me home soil," said Nordqvist, adding that she decided to play the
event after learning a tournament in Australia would not count
towards her bid to make Europe's Solheim Cup team.
"Obviously I had a great round yesterday shooting 61 and my phone
was blowing up ... I knew there was one more round play so I kept my
head down. It's been such an amazing week."
The LPGA Tour moves to California next week for the $2.7 million Kia
(Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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