EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP / Anna Nordqvist wins rain-soaked playoff as Katherine Kirk falls short

Anna Nordqvist has won the Evian Championship in France after a dramatic playoff with Brittany Altomare.

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Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist claimed her second major golf championship overnight after beating American Brittany Altomare in a rain-drenched, wind-swept playoff.

Nordqvist was five strokes back as the day began in atrocious conditions but posted a final round 5-under 66 to get to 9-under par at the shorted 54-hole Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France.

Altomare who was ranked at 102nd on the World Rolex Rankings before the tournament surprised everyone to share the lead at the top of the leaderboard, but couldn’t finish off the tournament with Nordqvist just needing a bogey to claim the trophy.

“I’m still trying to catch my breath or trying to get warm. Just really speechless right now, and that usually doesn’t happen,” Nordqvist said after the round.

Australia’s Katherine Kirk fell just one shot short of the playoff, sharing second place with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and overnight leader Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn.

Kirk had a share of the lead with just three holes remaining in the rain drenched Evian Championship but three putts on the next two greens saw her hopes of her maiden major championship slip away.

“Obviously nice to finish with a birdie. That kind of takes some of the sting out of bogeying 16 and 17,” Kirk said.

“But yeah, I mean, I did my best. That’s all I can ask for. I mean, I’ll probably think a bit more about it tonight and next week, and be a little bit maybe bittersweet more.”

Mark Hayes at Golf Australia has a great wrap-up of Kirk’s round:

But, just as nerves, rain and a tough closing stretch combined to ruin many other rounds, so, too, did it grab Kirk.

Three putts from huge range on the par-3 16th was followed by a slightly tugged drive up the short par-4 17th and, from the deep, wet rough, Kirk could only manage to leave the ball on the front fringe of a wickedly sloping green.

Three putts later, her dream was effectively over.

In search of a miracle eagle up the testing last hole, the 35-year-old played a stunning long approach inside 2m, then dropped a putt that forced a wry smile when she clearly thought of what might have been.

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