A grain of sand denied Anna Nordqvist the last time she was in a playoff for a major championship. With her ball in the bunker at the U.S Open, the Swede brushed the sand on her backswing. The penalty would be enough to hand Brittany Lang the title.
It was controversial but then again the LPGA has developed a habit of that recently at majors. Lexi Thompson was denied the ANA Inspiration due to a ball marking incident spotted by an eagle-eyed viewer. It would cost her the title. It wasn’t that she did something wrong, but how the incident was handled.
Perhaps the handling of these big calls is an issue that some rush to rather than thinking about the repercussions that can come. With the weather presenting a problem at the Evian Championship, the decision was made to reduce the tournament to a 54 hole competition. For those that had already faced the difficult conditions, it would not go too well. Then there was the issue of the championship itself.
With the Evian Championship being hailed as the “Fifth” major, you would be forgiven to think that perhaps it is the “afterthought” major. Reduced to a three-day event and not given the respect it deserves. Can you imagine the R&A doing that at the Open? Most majors would at least have Monday as an extra day to complete the 72 hole event. The decision to make it a 54 hole was taken quickly. Controversy once again surrounded the LPGA.
However, for Anna Nordqvist, there would be nothing controversial about her play this time around. Whilst Moriya Jutanugarn started the final round with a three-shot, Nordqvist caught her. A playoff between Nordqvist and Brittany Altomare was battled out in the pouring rain.
It wasn’t just the golf that Nordqvist was battling. Sidelined for most of the summer with glandular fever, she relied on a captain’s pick to make the Solheim Cup team. Even in Des Moines she still wasn’t 100%. Now in the pouring rain and still recovering, she had to do it all over again. Thankfully, it only took one hole. Rolling in her bogey putt she clinched her second major.
Following her victory, she highlighted her year as one of overcoming hurdles. She said: "It has been a tough few months. I always wanted to make the Solheim Cup and I did that. But I have been exhausted. I don't enjoy lying in bed and not being able to do anything. Because of the illness, it definitely makes this win sweeter."