Ladies European Tour gives nods to Nordqvist
Former Arizona State University standout, Anna Nordqvist, the current world number seven, was announced as the Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year for 2009 at the Ladies European Tour's end of year awards ceremony held in association with the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club.
In front of her fellow competitors, the 6 foot tall 22-year-old from Eskilstunan in Sweden was honoured as the leading first year player on the Ladies European Tour this year.
She was presented with the prestigious award by Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi and said: "It's fantastic. It wasn't something I was aiming for at the beginning of the year but obviously it's a huge accomplishment for me and I'm very proud."
It was the culmination of a sensational year for Nordqvist, who earned medallist honours at the LET's Tour School at La Manga Club in Spain in January.
The former British Amateur Champion, who turned professional with a handicap of +4.8, earned her first professional title at the McDonald's LPGA Championship, which is a Major, with a remarkable performance over the Bulle Rock Golf Course in Maryland.
"I won the McDonalds LPGA Championship in my fifth start so I got off to a really good start and ever since it's been going my way, so it's been a lot of fun," she said.
She went on to represent Europe at The 2009 Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois. Then, last month, in Houston, Texas, her season saw further glory when she won the LPGA Tour Championship Presented by Rolex.
Her brilliance on the Ladies European Tour saw her finish a close second to Azahara Munoz at the Madrid Ladies Masters, where she shot 63 in the final round to make the play-off. She also recorded top ten finishes at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Open and S4/C Wales Ladies Championship.
She finished the season ranked 13th on the Henderson Money List, with earnings of €100,966.74 on the LET and €36,051 ahead of England's Florentyna Parker, who finished the year ranked 24th, a huge achievement in itself.
Christel Boeljon from the Netherlands was the third woman on the list, with Welsh rookie Breanne Loucks in fourth place and Scotland's Krystle Caithness in fifth.
Chief Executive of Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Ltd., Rob Holt, said: "Many congratulations to the worthy recipient of this year's award, who has now topped off what has been a fantastic year for her. However, it was great to see a home-grown Welsh talent, in the form of Breanne Loucks, making such an impact in her first year and chasing her all the way."