Anna Nordqvist launched a game on the LPGA Tour that matured into one of the most prolific LPGA players in the past 15 years.
With about a fifth of the amount of career events as the four biggest LPGA players—Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Inbee Park—Nordqvist racked up more money, more top-10 finishes and more top-5 finishes than any of them. She captured 19 of those 59 events.
To succeed on the course, Nordqvist needed a ruthless mental approach. She was forced to consider the psychological impact of what she was doing, and then back off from it when the pressure began to build.
The biggest moment of her career came in the 2005 CME Group Tour Championship, when she holed a 4-foot putt on the last hole to win the tournament.
Nordqvist is approaching what might be her most important goal on the LPGA Tour: Come November she will be the only active major champion from the European tour.
Nordqvist won the Women’s British Open in July in a memorable duel with world No. 1 Suzann Pettersen and this month at the Grand Slam of Golf championship. She already has 19 European Tour victories, and just five other players have more than one.
“I enjoy the European tour a lot. It’s a lot more team-oriented. There’s a really good rapport between the players, and not only the players but the staff,” Nordqvist told the Golf Channel in early 2016. “The plan was always to come back (to Europe). I always thought I would come back one day. And I never thought it would be so soon.”
Many golfers were surprised when Nordqvist announced her decision to return to the LPGA Tour, but she was not. Nordqvist was looking for a place to play with her new husband and two children. The European Tour gave her the best chance to play well in her third LPGA event, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, after she proved she could win on the PGA Tour with a 10th-place finish in the 2016 The Players Championship.
She played solidly for three rounds, but stumbled on the back nine on Sunday. Pettersen finished with a 68 and a one-stroke victory over Nordqvist.
Nordqvist missed out on a victory as well in 2016, when she tied for second at the Evian Championship. She is hopeful that she can improve upon that finish.
“I think those are my biggest goals coming into next year, hopefully win again. That will be nice,” Nordqvist said.
Nordqvist won the 2013 Swedish Ladies Open on her way to a major victory in the Ladies European Tour’s player of the year. She also won the RBC Canadian Open. She won the 2016 WGC Tour Championship and 2017 LPGA Tour Championship.