Sophia Popov wins AIG Women's Open at Royal Troon
Three weeks ago, Sophia Popov was caddying in an LPGA event. Two weeks ago, she finished ninth in the LPGA Marathon Classic to earn a spot in (...)
Three weeks ago, Sophia Popov was caddying in an LPGA event.
Two weeks ago, she finished ninth in the LPGA Marathon Classic to earn a spot in the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon in Scotland.
She only got into the Marathon because so many international LPGA players decided not to go to Toledo and the tour filled out the field there with Symetra Tour players.
Last week, she battled temperatures that soared well past 100 degrees to post a second-place finish in a Symetra Tour event in the Mesa, Arizona, desert.
Ranked 304 in the Rolex Rankings before the week started, Popov has no status on the LPGA.
But on Sunday, she capped a most remarkable week with a victory in the Women’s Open.
AIG Women’s Open: Leaderboard | Photos
Popov shot a final-round 68 to win by three shots. Clutch birdies on 16 and 17 iced the victory for her.
Popov became the first woman from Germany to win a major championship.
She arrived in Scotland on Tuesday and played her first practice round at Royal Troon on Wednesday. Her boyfriend, Maximilian Mehles, was on the bag this week. The pair met on the German National team.
A strong mental game proved to be a huge asset this week.
“Honestly, I have plenty of mental games that I do on the golf course,” said Popov on Saturday, “and a lot of them include staying quiet and no negative talk, whether it’s out loud or not.”
Jasmine Suwannapura shot a final-round 67 to come in second, three shots back. Minjee Lee was third, four back, while Inbee Park shot a 66 on Sunday and finished fourth. Those were the only golfers to finish under par at Royal Troon. Austin Ernst was fifth at even par.