Swedish golf star spends Christmas in Courier Country

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Anna Nordqvist.

Europe’s top female golfer has spent Christmas in Courier Country ahead of her bid for major glory.

Anna Nordqvist played a round at Alyth in Perthshire on Christmas morning while most people were still opening their presents from Santa.

The Swedish and European Solheim Cup star said Christmas morning golf in Scotland would become a new festive tradition following her round.

The world number seven was picking up a club for the first time in weeks and she also played the championship course at Carnoustie on Boxing Day.

The 30-year-old also donated signed golfing gifts to the Dundee Toy Appeal to raise money to make life better for thousands of Tayside families.

Nordqvist plays on the US-based LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour and claimed her second major title in September at the Evian Championship in France.

She’s now preparing for the start of the LPGA season and will be competing in the LPGA’s five major championships including the British Open in August.

Nordqvist has quite a lot of links experience in Courier Country and said Carnoustie and Kingsbarns are among her favourite courses.

She said: “I actually played at Kingsbarns in 2004 for the Duke of York.

“It went straight in as one of my favourite courses, the girls and guys played together in one competition and Rory McIlroy was second to Zac Gould of Wales.

“I think I was the leading girl and finished seventh overall.

“It is so beautiful by the water and has a nice combination of tricky and hard holes.

“I love so many aspects of links golf; putting from distance, the different ways to play all the shots and the pot bunkers.

“I love it when you aim in the middle of some bushes and wait for the wind to hit it, though I wouldn’t want it to be every week.”

After going through qualifying school for the LPGA in December 2008, Nordqvist turned professional and joined both the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

She has won two majors, played on five European Solheim Cup teams and also represented Sweden at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.