Anna Nordqvist won major No 3 at Carnoustie, while Tony Finau has finally got that monkey off his back. Alex Perry wraps up the week's talking points
Hello. Welcome to this week’s Slam. If you weren’t hooked to that final round of the AIG Women’s Open then what on earth were you doing? Just incredible stuff at Carnoustie, which continues to be one of the best golf courses in the world when it comes to throwing up a first-class leaderboard packed with drama. Let’s start there, shall we?
Four years after her last win – which just so happened to be her second major – Anna Nordqvist captured her third on a remarkable final day of the AIG Women’s Open.
Nordqvist edged out Georgia Hall, Madelene Sagstrom and Lizette Salas at Carnoustie to become just the third European, along with fellow Swede Annika Sorenstam and English legend Laura Davies, to win three majors.
With Hall, Sagstrom and Salas in the clubhouse at 11-under, the final group of Nordqvist and Nanna Koerstz Madsen – coming down 18 at -12 – knew par was likely to claim victory on one of the hardest finishing holes in championship golf.
And it turned out to be a brutal finish for Madsen, who found the right-hand bunker before shanking her third.
The Dane failed to get up and down from the rough under the grandstand and a double bogey cost her not only a share of second but a spot in the Solheim Cup too.
Nordqvist, meanwhile, used every ounce of her experience to find the green and leave herself a tap in for victory.
- RELATED: What’s in Anna Nordqvist’s bag?
A star is born
Louise Duncan was undecided on a career in professional golf and has been looking into a physiotherapy career. Then she won the Women’s Amateur to book a spot at the Open as well as next week’s Curtis Cup.
Then she went to Carnoustie and finished in the top 10!
She entertained us all on Saturday with not only her brilliant play but her clothing choice, too. While everyone else was wrapped up in hats and waterproofs, Duncan was rocking shorts in the third round.
When asked by Sarah Stirk at the Sky Cart, she replied that “it’s pretty mild for Scotland, actually” before quipping: “Skin’s waterproof…”
Just a number
At the age of 57, Dame Laura Davies was making her 41st – FORTY-FIRST – consecutive appearance in the Women’s Open.
She also made the cut for the first time since 2017, creating this wonderful little stat in the process:
We don’t deserve you, Damo.
The stars will head from Carnoustie to Inverness (in Ohio) for the Solheim Cup next. And the teams are starting to take shape.
The six qualifiers for Team Europe are:
Emily Kristine Pedersen
Nine qualified for the USA team:
The wildcards were announced on Monday – and that’s all right here.
Right, before we move onto other tournaments around the globe, let’s take a look at the final Women’s Open leaderboard…
Finally! It’s Finau’s time
Tony Finau’s first PGA Tour win came at the opposite-field Puerto Rico Open in 2016 and since then he has had what feels like a top 10 every week without ever getting over the line.
Well, he’s done it. What’s the best way to brush off your ability to get the job done on a Sunday? Take advantage of a Monday finish, that’s how.
After the Northern Trust was suspended at the end of play on Saturday as Storm Henri settled in over New York and Liberty National, play concluded on Monday and Finau edged out Cameron Smith in a play-off.
The victory catapults Finau into the automatic Ryder Cup spots.
And of course there is already a stat…
Smith will have to just settle for owning the course record at Liberty after flirting with a 59…
Earlier in the week, Jordan Spieth – who else? – holed out from the middle of the fairway on the par-4 5th for an eagle, then at the next hole this happened…
How can you not love this man?
Meanwhile Hideki Matsuyama found himself in the most bizarre rules situation when his tee ball landed in someone’s SHIRT.
I’ll leave this one to NCG’s Rules of Golf expert Steve Carroll to fill you in.
Another week, another first time winner on the European Tour as Johannes Veerman took advantage of a late slip by overnight leader Tapio Pulkkanen to claim the D+D Czech Masters in Prague.
Speaking of Swedish major champions, there was also a welcome return to form for Henrik Stenson. The 2016 Open champion was tied for the lead after draining this monster putt at 13…
But Stenson found water at 16 and he would go on to finish three back in a tie for fourth.
How many times has that headline been written?
Thomas Bjorn’s last victory came in 2013, but the Dane, who turned 50 in February, is now on the Legends Tour and already in the winners’ circle thanks to a play-off triumph over Phillip Price at the Irish Legends.
Dreams are made
And finally, great to see the European Tour dominating the Korn Ferry Tour finals. Englishman Aaron Rai among the players to earn their PGA Tour card for next season with a top-five finish at the Boise Open.
Right, that’s enough from me. I’ll be back on Monday to update the PGA Tour action so make sure you come back for that. Or not. Your own decisions.
Have a good week.