Professional / LPGA Tour

Anna Nordqvist defends title at ShopRite LPGA Classic

Anna Nordqvist reacts after making her par putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic. (Getty)

Anna Nordqvist became the first player in the history of the ShopRite LPGA Classic to capture back-to-back titles at the event.

Nordqvist shot a 7-under 64 at Stockton Seaview’s Bay Course in Galloway, N.J. in her final round to best Haru Nomura by one shot and become the oldest player on the LPGA Tour to win this year by more than five years. Nomura, at 23, was the previous youngest player to win this year on the LPGA Tour.

Nomura, who was looking to join Ariya Jutanugarn as the only three-time winners on Tour this season, shot a 5-under 66 and finished 16 under par to earn her fourth top 5 of the season.

Karen Icher, the 36-hole leader, dropped to third after a 2-under 69, and came up three strokes shy of her first career LPGA Tour victory.

The win was Nordqvist’s sixth of her career on the LPGA Tour, and her first since she won this same event a year ago. Her 17-under 196 matched the tournament record set by Annika Sorenstam in 1998 and 2005.

“My caddie just told me to stay patient and so did the rest of my team, because they knew how well I was playing, getting really zero out of it,” Nordqvist said. “Sometimes the longer you have to wait and the more patient you have to stay, but the sweeter it feels when it finally pays off.”

Christina Kim earned her second consecutive top 5 as she finished second last week in Michigan and fourth this week at 13 under.

Jutanugarn and world No. 1 Lydia Ko sat this event out to get ready for next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s second major.

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