This week the Anna Nordqvist Västerås Open by SmartProvider tees off at Västerås Golf Club. A new event on the schedule but one of the biggest women's competitions in Sweden. Major champion Anna Nordqvist knows how important it is to compete to develop.
"It was important that I could support the event and create interest," she said in a conversation about her driving forces, what it takes to reach the top and how her own journey began.
“Swedish women's golf is strong right now. We have players high up on most leader boards around the world – both on the amateur and professional side.”
At the top of the Swedish "pyramid" is Anna Nordqvist. with two major titles, eight LPGA wins, five Solheim Cups and one Ladies European Tour title. You can safely say that the 31-year-old from Eskilstuna, knows what it takes to get to the top.
We all know someone who has been extremely promising in any sport, but there are few who manage to get past all the difficult passages and challenges along the way. Margins are small.
Anna Nordqvist has worked hard and also believes that the most important feature to be really good is stubbornness, not to give up. It is the case that – as she says – dare to bet, dare to dream and dare to go for it.
"I'm a competitive person. It's not always been easy for me either. If you have a setback, it is easy to give up. The Swede went to Europe and won the final qualifier to the Ladies European Tour but decided to stay in the United States. In her fifth professional competition, she won the LPGA Championship. Suddenly she was a major winner, with a rocket start to her career.
"The Ladies European Tour would not start until the summer. I wanted to play with the best and chose the United States. I went to Monday qualifying as I didn’t have starts in tournaments. In the tournaments I played in, I made the cut and moved up the rankings so that I could play in the LPGA Championship. There were many who questioned why I jumped out of college, my college coach gave me some criticism for the choices I made, but I stood up for myself. The spring was not easy but then I went and won in June and it changed my life overnight”, says Nordqvist.
It is sometimes said that it is a life alone to be on a golf tour but Nordqvist is extremely positive about her experience.
"It's an amazing job, although there are plenty of golf courses, hotels and airports. You get to travel around the world and meet lots of people.”
Nordqvist lives in Orlando, Florida, has an American boyfriend (caddy Kevin McAlpine who works for Lexi Thompson) and does not know if she will return to Sweden after the end of her career.
"I thrive in the USA and I have the opportunity now. But it is clear that I have no family and childhood buddies. I have lived in the USA since 2006, been there almost all my adult life and know that system much better than the Swedish one. I don't plan so much for the future at the moment but try to live in the present and focus on the challenges I have in the future," she says.
Some of Nordqvist’s future goals will be to be part of the European team for the 2019 Solheim Cup, played at Gleneagles in Scotland next September, and also to book her berth in the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. She also plans to build Swedish golf to be even stronger through the Anna Nordqvist Västerås Open by SmartProvider.
One hundred and twenty-six players from 21 different countries will compete in the event, which takes place from the 9 – 11 August.