Popov overcomes a life of struggles with a dream Major win at Troon

V Krishnaswamy August 23 | Updated on August 24, 2020

Germany’s Sophia Popov scripted an unlikely dream story as she rose from a player without a status on either LPGA or the Ladies European Tour to win one of the biggest prizes in women’s golf, as she won the AIG Women’s Open at Troon in Scotland.

Ranked 304th prior to this week, the 27-year-old Popov came into the event on the strength of a Top-10 finish at the LPGA”s Marathon Classic two weeks ago. She held her nerve to shoot a final round of three-under 68 to total seven-under 277 and win by two shots over Thailand’s Thidappa ‘Jasmine’ Suwannapura (67). Australia’s Minjee Lee (69) was third at three-under during a week when only five players totalled under par and only six played par or better at the famous Ayrshire links.

Popov became the first German woman to win a Major, and only the third, male or female, after Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer, to win a Major.

Popov revealed that her little-known career was full of struggles, including health problems. Till three months ago she was playing on a mini Tour, the Cactus Tour, in Arizona, US, the only place where competitive golf was still on during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She won three times in nine starts on Cactus Tour and her total prize for the three wins was $ 8,800, while she scooped $ 675,000 and then during an emotional and virtual press conference she told this writer that she did not even know what the winner’s cheque was worth.

Published on August 24, 2020

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