Anna Nordqvist and Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Scandinavians with contrasting golf summaries, share the lead in the final round of the British Open for women.
A built-up chase package with Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson promises to make it a Sunday to remember at Carnoustie.
In the toughest conditions of the week at the Scottish links, the 34-year-old Nordqvist – a two-time grand champion from Sweden – shot her lowest round in one of the five elite events of women’s golf, with a bogey-free, 7 -under 65 on Saturday.
“I feel like I played very solidly this week, and last week at the Scottish Open I hit the ball very well, so I think it’s been coming together for a while,” Nordqvist said after finishing the best round of the week. placed.
Koerstz Madsen, a 26-year-old Dane with just one top-10 finish in a major, joined Nordqvist at 9 under overall by rolling a 15-foot eagle put at number 12 and into Carnoustie’s difficult closing course to return. to shoot 68.
“I just have to try to calm my nerves and remember that I’m playing good golf now, so that’s what I’m going to focus on,” said Koerstz Madsen. “I played very consistently there. I hit a lot of greens. I would have liked to be somewhere closer to the pin, but I also made good holes. I’m happy with the round.”
At 207, they were a shot ahead of Lizette Salas of the United States, whose round of 70 did not include a fifth-hole bogey.
Yealimi Noh was not so happy. The 20-year-old American held at least part of the lead for much of a third round that reached the “moving day” mark, only to drop shots on her last three holes and at 6 to end with a 71.
It tied Noh in eighth place with a star-studded group with Korda (70), the recently crowned Olympic champion and new superstar of women’s golf, and two players who have won the Women’s Open in the last five years: 2018- champion Georgia Hall (73) and 2016 winner Ariya Jutanugarn (68).
The top 14 was separated by only 3 strokes in the final round. Thompson, whose only major win in 2014 was, was tied in a four-way for the fourth after a 70.
Perhaps the most unlikely player to join Thompson at 7 is Louise Duncan, a 21-year-old Scottish amateur who goes to the University of Stirling in her homeland. She gave a fist pump after making a birdie at number 8 for a 68 to stay for far more than the Smyth Salver awarded to the leading amateur.
“The crowd absolutely loved it, and so did I,” Duncan said, “and the hole also makes a hole in the well.
Duncan will not be the only player counting on local support Sunday. Nordqvist, who won the LPGA Championship in 2009 and the Evian Championship in 2017 for her two majors, said her husband was 20 minutes from Carnoustie and that many of his friends and family were on the course.
“I definitely feel their support,” she said.
She also thinks of the 2011 Open for Women at Carnoustie, where she finished seventh for her joint best final at the tournament.
When Nordqvist climbed 22 places on Saturday, a 25-foot putt for birdie at number 8 was her highlight, along with the 230-yard approach on the 17th that set her seventh and final birdie of the round.
At one point, Nordqvist was in a five-way battle for the lead at 7 down, with Hall — who shared the lead at night — Noh, Madelene Sagstrom and 2019 champion Hinako Shibuno.
Noh was the last one of the players to drop out, although Sagstrom, another Swede, returned from a double bogey 6 at number 9 with two straight birdies and then seven pars to shoot a 69. She was along with Thompson, Duncan and Sanna Nuutinen (68) at 7 under.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.