Even though Anna Nordqvist made a late bogey on the 17th hole at The Kia Classic on Sunday afternoon, the 26 year-old Swede fired a final round -5 under par 67 to win by one stroke over Lizette Salas. Nordqvist started her day two shots back at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlesbad, California but was able to hang on for her second victory in the 2014 season.
It was a strong field that was preparing for this weeks first major, and after the Arizona State grad opened with a 73 on Thursday, she showed here championship pedigree with the win on Sunday. Lexi Thompson was two back at -11 under par, and Rolex points leader, Inbee Park was lurking with number three, Stacy Lewis, five back.
“I’m very excited,” said Nordqvist. “Just still can’t believe it. I was a couple shots back going into today and just told myself to give it a shot. I ended up making quite a bit of birdies out there. So obviously very happy and excited I’ve had two wins this season.”
Nordqvist won earlier this year in Thailand, and is currently 16th in Rolex Rankings. More importantly, she is ranked second behind Karrie Webb in the new Race to CME Globe points standings. She has a 48 point lead over number three, Paula Creamer, but tails Webb by 112 points.
“I was pretty disappointed after last year, not going to lie,” said Nordqvist. “Felt like I played pretty good, but I knew I had to do a couple changes to play even better. It’s just great sitting here now. I’m proud of myself for taking some hard decisions. You know, I worked extremely hard this off-season. They had to drag me off the range.”
The LPGA Tour moves to Rancho Mirage this week for the first major championship of the year. The Kraft Nabisco Championship gets underway on Wednesday with a $2 Million Dollar purse, and 625 Race To CME Globe points. Inbee Park won the first of three majors last year at Rancho Mirage.