Anna Nordqvist Finds Strength in Her Grandfather’s Words at CME Group Tour Championship
NAPLES, Fla. –
Anna Nordqvist, the Swedish professional golfer, has faced numerous challenges in her life, but she has always found solace in her grandfather’s wise words: “Don’t give up.” These words have been a guiding light for Nordqvist, especially during the most difficult times. On Thursday, at the CME Group Tour Championship, she drew strength from those words as she made her second start on the LPGA since the sudden and tragic death of her former partner, Kevin McAlpine, on October 19.
Despite the emotional turmoil she has been going through, Nordqvist displayed remarkable resilience and determination during her opening round at Tiburon Golf Club. Her impressive score of 65 put her just two shots off the early lead. Reflecting on her performance, Nordqvist admitted, “I’m not doing very well. It’s been a lot of ups and downs, just trying to fight. But I wanted to come here, do it for myself, and show that I’m a fighter.”
In August, Nordqvist took to social media to reveal that she was in the process of divorcing McAlpine, who had previously served as Lexi Thompson’s caddie. The cause of McAlpine’s untimely death remains unknown.
Upon learning of McAlpine’s passing, Nordqvist withdrew from the first round of the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea. Last week, she returned to competition at the Annika tournament, where she struggled both mentally and physically due to exhaustion. Nordqvist could only hit a few balls at a time on the driving range, as her head was spinning, and she felt on the verge of fainting. Despite these challenges, she managed to complete all four rounds, which she considered a personal victory.
For Nordqvist, participating in the Tour Championship was not only about her love for the game but also about finding a sense of normalcy amidst the grieving process. With her family in Sweden and unable to see them since McAlpine’s passing, Nordqvist recognized the importance of surrounding herself with support. Returning to the tour provided her with the much-needed camaraderie and encouragement she sought.
Reuniting with her former caddie, Jason Gilroyd, has brought Nordqvist a sense of comfort and familiarity. Additionally, she received unwavering support from longtime friends Suzann Pettersen and her husband, Christian, who were waiting for her at the end of her round on Thursday.
Expressing her determination to continue fighting, Nordqvist stated, “I think knowing that I’m a fighter, and I never give up, I didn’t want to wait until February to tee it up again. Felt like I needed to get back to work. Just seeing everyone, surrounding myself with all the other players and caddies, and everyone has been so supportive.”
Nordqvist’s resilience has been tested both on and off the golf course throughout her career. She battled through years of fatigue following a bout with mononucleosis and even won her third major title in a hailstorm at the Amundi Evian Championship. Known for her fighting spirit, Nordqvist is prepared to face the challenges of the next three days at the Tour Championship.
However, she won’t be alone in this battle. Nordqvist acknowledges the support she receives from her fellow players and the entire golfing community, saying, “I’m leaning on everyone out here to just push me through.”