Anna Nordqvist enjoys being reunited with trophies from her treble triumph

Anna Nordqvist, the defending AIG Women’s Open champion, arrived at Muirfield earlier this week to find herself reunited with a trophy she landed on one of her previous visits to East Lothian.

Anna Nordqvist poses outside the Muirfield clubhouse with the AIG Women’s Open trophy, the R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship trophy and Women’s Amateur Championship trophy. Picture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.
Anna Nordqvist poses outside the Muirfield clubhouse with the AIG Women’s Open trophy, the R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship trophy and Women’s Amateur Championship trophy. Picture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.

The Swede won the Women’s Amateur Championship at North Berwick in 2008, beating compatriot Caroline Headwall in the final after losing in previous two title deciders.

That success came three years after Nordqvist had also won the Girls’ Amateur Championship at West Hill and she then joined Georgia Hall as the only players to complete the full set of R&A titles with her AIG Women’s Open victory at Carnoustie 12 months ago.

All three of those trophies were waiting for the 35-year-old when she arrived at Muirfield on Monday ahead of her title defence in the event’s first visit to the home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

“It's obviously a very proud accomplishment and I thought it was very thoughtful to bring all the trophies yesterday,” said Nordqvist.

“I obviously haven't seen the Girls’ British Open one since 2005 and then the Women’s British Open I won at North Berwick, so not too far away from here.

“Yeah, it was really cool, and knowing that I have the first two, you obviously think about, ‘oh, how cool would it be to have the real trophy, too’.

“So what I did last year, it was very special, and then obviously when I found out I was going to be reunited with the other trophies, it was going to be even more special.”

The final women’s major of the season is being played at Muirfield just over six years after the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers opened its doors to women members at the second attempt.

It has hosted the men’s Open on 16 occasions, most recently in 2013, when Phil Mickelson got his hands on the Claret Jug, and now the current top players in the women’s game are excited to be tackling one of golf’s great courses.

“I got to play nine holes yesterday, the back nine. It was a little bit less windy than it is today, so I would say it's going to be a challenge but I think it's an amazing venue.

“I’ve never been here before. I think it's going to be a true British Open, so to say, with the conditions. But so far I'm really impressed with the venue and all the setup and it just really feels like a major with the atmosphere and everything.

“It feels really special,” admitted Nordqvist, who is married to former Scottish Amateur champion Kevin McAlpine, of how it felt to walk through the big iron gates for the first time.

“Obviously I've heard a lot about Muirfield. I think it's an amazing opportunity for us to have Muirfield added to our Open rotation and, as the defending champion, my picture is the first one you see coming in through the gate. It still feels pretty surreal to have my name on the trophy. It's just a very proud accomplishment.

If someone would have said when I was a young girl that I would one day win the AIG Women's Open, I probably would have told them they were crazy. It's probably the biggest childhood dream I've ever had, especially being from Europe.”

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