Swedish Fi(ni)sh

Recapping a chaotic final round at the AIG Women’s Open


It should be a crime to introduce pumpkin-flavored things before mid-September. Your PSL can wait a couple of weeks.

The Nordic region of Scotland

On a course where anything could happen, pretty much everything did happen on Sunday at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open. The day started with several low rounds at Carnoustie from players way off the lead and ended with chaos down the stretch.

Tied for the lead after 54 holes, Anna Nordvist emerged as the player to beat after a 33 on her opening nine. But when she failed to birdie the drivable 11th and bogeyed the par-5 12th, her chasers reentered the picture. Minjee Lee, Georgia Hall, Lizette Salas, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, and Madelene Sagstrom all made moves, but the 18th hole at Carnoustie separated the wheat from the chaff. Both Sagstrom and Koerstz Madsen fell victim to the treacherous closer, while Nordqvist got through with a par. The Swede two-putted from 20 feet to earn her third career major championship. Results

It’s been almost four years since we’ve seen Anna Nordqvist in the winner’s circle. The 2009 Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year and former top-five player in the world has racked up plenty of top 10s but no wins since the 2017 Evian Championship. Yesterday, though, she handled Carnoustie’s toughest holes with aplomb. Nordqvist has now qualified for her seventh consecutive Solheim Cup and will join Team Europe at Inverness Club in two weeks.

Other notes from the Women’s Open

Someday Nanna Koerstz Madsen will be proud of how she has played over the past few weeks, but right now she has to be frustrated with her results. She contended at the Olympics two weeks ago before finishing T-9. At the Women’s Open on Sunday, she had a shot at redemption. After battling with Nordqvist all day, Koerstz Madsen stood just off the fairway on the 72nd hole with a major title within reach. Then she fanned her approach into a greenside bunker, shanked her recovery, and made double bogey. Still, Koerstz Madsen has had two top fives in majors this year and will likely join Nordvist on the European Solheim Cup team.

You may have missed Madelene Sagstrom’s finish at Carnoustie, as NBC bafflingly went to one of its “Playing Through” segments as she putted for par on the 72nd hole. But we can assure you she was a big factor in the final round. Six birdies through 17 holes got her into a tie for the lead, but her tee shot on the 18th hole rolled into a fairway bunker and led to an ill-timed bogey.

It never really felt like Lizette Salas was going to win on Sunday, but the wily veteran got close. Shorter off the tee than most of her competitors, Salas routinely hit hybrids and fairway woods on long par 3s and into par 4s. Nonetheless, she shot a bogey-free final round of 69 to post -11. She ended up with her second major runner-up of 2021.

With her T-2 at Carnoustie, Georgia Hall now has three top fives in her past five appearances at the Women’s Open.

A couple of hours ahead of the leaders, Minjee Lee made a serious charge on Sunday and got into the clubhouse at -10. Her final-round 66 was marred only by an 18th-hole bogey, which would have been worse if her ball had not bounced out of the Barry Burn.

It was a big week for Scottish amateur Louise Duncan and up-and-coming Australian pro Stephanie Kyriacou. Duncan hung around all week and notched a T-10 in her first-ever major, and Kyriacou, a two-time winner on the LET, shot 72-70-71-69 to finish T-13.

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

The Course at Sewanee (Sewanee, Tennessee)


About 20 minutes up the road from the much-praised Sweetens Cove, the Course at Sewanee should not be skipped on a golf trip to Chattanooga. Gil Hanse built this nine-holer around the same time Tad King and Rob Collins were transforming the old Sequatchie Valley Golf and Country Club, and it offers a pleasing contrast to its neighbor. Whereas Sweetens Cove was manufactured out of a flat piece of ground, Sewanee occupies a fine property in the mountains. Using the natural terrain, Hanse found some thrilling holes, including the par-3 3rd, which plays out to the edge of the mountain and provides a striking view of the valley below.

Insider tip: During the summer months, Sewanee will usually be about five to 10 degrees cooler than other courses in Chattanooga, thanks to its mountain setting. -Andy Johnson

Photo credit: Graylyn Loomis (@grayloomis)

Quick Hooks

Players are living well under par at Liberty National in the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but Hurricane Henri has put the brakes on proceedings. The PGA Tour has rescheduled the final round of the Northern Trust for Monday, and Tuesday is in play after more than six inches of rain fell yesterday. Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith lead the way at -16 while Erik van Rooyen (-15), Tony Finau (-14), and Justin Thomas (-14) follow close behind. Leaderboard

A double bogey from Aaron Rai on the 72nd hole gave Greyson Sigg a victory at the Albertsons Boise Open on the Korn Ferry Tour. Sigg already locked up his PGA Tour card during the 2020-21 mega-season, but this victory moves him to No. 1 on the points list. This top spot is important: it comes with a full exemption for the 2021-22 PGA Tour season and an automatic berth in the Players Championship. Rai and J.J. Spaun finished T-2, locking up PGA Tour status for next year via the KFT Finals top 25. Results

Johannes Veerman came from two shots back to win the D+D Real Czech Masters on the European Tour. The win is Veerman’s third top 10 in his past four starts and moves him inside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career. Results

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: 2021 majors come to a close, Tuesday finish for the good of the game, and Boise drama

This Monday episode begins with a tale from the road, as a family vacation gets off to a rough start. Then it’s on to the Women’s Open at Carnoustie, which closed the books on the majors for 2021. Andy and Brendan react to Anna Nordqvist getting it done despite being unable to chip, Nanna Koerstz Madsen booting it away on the 18th hole, some invasive Playing Through choices, Louise Duncan’s contention, and the Salas slow play. The Northern Trust discussion moves to the updating of the rules to allow for a Tuesday finish, the tough break in the schedule, the grounds crew efforts to get it playable for Monday, and the SubAir usage throughout the week. Similar to the Women’s Open, the 18th hole became a scene of catastrophe in Boise on the KFT, where Greyson Sigg used a drop from a backboard to make par and edge an imploding Aaron Rai. The Ferryman gets it done at the Czech Masters and the bomber jacket Rod Pampling got for winning on the Champions Tour is worth googling. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

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If you find yourself battling the Scottish conditions or hunkering down to avoid a hurricane, stay cozy with a Shotgun Start quarter-zip!