Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist has hung on to claim her seventh LPGA title at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, fending off challenges from American Stacy Lewis, Korea’s In Gee Chun and World No.2 Ariya Jutanugarn.
The 29-year-old laid the groundwork for the win in the third round when she set a new course record 61 for the Wildfire GC course. She started the final round exactly how she finished the third … with more birdies.
She added five birdies to the card in the final round before throwing in just her third bogey of the tournament – at the 72nd hole – to close with a four under 68 and collect the coveted trophy.
“It got a little interesting at the end, but I’m so happy and proud of myself this week,” said the six-foot Swede.
Jutanugarn matched Nordqvist with a 68 in the final pairing, playing the back nine in five under, and finished the 72 holes without having dropped a shot.
Lewis also shot 68, while Chun went two better with a 66.
Lewis is now winless in 67 LPGA events entered since mid-2014. Her runner-up finish was the 25th of her career and the 12th since her last victory.
Nordqvist’s 72-hole score of 25 under came within two shots of fellow Swede Annika Sorenstam’s scoring record of 27 under. And Nordqvist, who attended university in Arizona, said it meant a lot to win at ‘home’.
“Of all the wins probably (this) one’s the one that’s going to be more special,” Nordqvist said. “If it wouldn’t be for me getting the opportunity to come to Arizona State University about 10 years ago … I wouldn’t be here today. This truly still feels like home.”
Nordqvist was joined by a strong field that tore Wildfire’s course apart, producing the lowest cut line in LPGA Tour history – 74 players were at five under or better through 36 holes.
The tour now travels to San Diego for the Kia Classic, an event Nordqvist won in 2014.