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Carnoustie 2021
'The most special one'
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Nordqvist hails best major win so far
Anna Nordqvist trophy on the edge of green

Anna Nordqvist hailed her AIG Women’s Open triumph as the sweetest of her three majors to date after completing a thrilling victory at Carnoustie.

The Swede looked set for a play-off with Nanna Koerstz Madsen as the pair set off level down the last but when the Dane wobbled, Nordqvist held her nerve to complete the par which kept her at -12 - a shot clear of three players waiting in the clubhouse.

Nordqvist had several Scots in her corner, with caddie Paul Cormack and husband Kevin McAlpine among those to join in the celebrations on the 18th green, and was backed by plenty among the home crowd as she surged towards the crown.

The 34-year-old received a warm ovation as she lifted the trophy, which can now be added to a mantelpiece already containing the 2009 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and 2017 Evian Championship, and Nordqvist reckons this is the best yet.

“I think this is the most special one,” she said. “Just because it's taken me a couple years and I've fought so hard and questioned whether I was doing the right things.

“It just seemed so unreal and just to have a little tap-in for the win, I couldn't ask for anything better.

“Also, knowing how my caddie, Paul, has been working so hard, I really wanted to do it for him, too.

“My husband has been supporting me so much, too, and all friends and family. Having spectators back and feeling that adrenaline kicking again, I think this is definitely my most special win.”

Having started strongly with three birdies before the turn, Nordqvist quickly composed herself after a dropped shot at 12 to birdie the 14th, entering a share of the lead when Koerstz Madsen dropped a shot at the following hole.

Georgia Hall, Lizette Salas and Madelene Sagstrom had already finished on -11 and the newly-crowned champion admitted she was relieved to avoid a play-off, which looked on the cards until Koerstz Madsen double-bogeyed the last.

“I tried not to [look at the scoreboard] but I was definitely aware where things were going, and I knew the last couple holes where I was standing,” she said.

“The only thing I could really control was myself and it was going to be my time.

“I just tried to do the best I could and see where it ended up, but I'm glad it didn't go to a playoff because I saw there was quite a few players at 11.”

Anna Nordqvist celebrates on 18

Nordqvist’s triumph owed much to her third-round 65, which remained the best individual score of the week.

And having recorded two top-10 finishes since her Evian Championship triumph, the Swede is now relishing her status as a major winner once more.

“I had a good opportunity last year [at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship] to win and didn't pull through,” she said.

“You question whether it's going to happen or to the again but it's been worth the wait.”

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