Anna Nordqvist and Jenny Shin tell us what it’s like to compete in a Major golf tournament during a pandemic.
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Like me, the players at the AIG Women’s Open have to spend the entire tournament within the bubble of Royal Troon and their hotel.
COVID-19 has changed their lives as professional golfers in a number of ways, and some definitely take some getting used to.
Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist (her Scottish fiancé is caddying for Amy Yang this week) and South Korean Jenny Shin tell me what it’s like competing in a Major golf tournament during a global pandemic.
Anna Nordqvist said:
“It’s awesome being back in Europe and in the fresh air.
But it’s so different, the fact you can’t leave your hotel, or go to the supermarket, we have a lot of friends and family here and we can’t see them. And as soon as you come back from the course you’re just in your hotel room, last week it felt a bit claustrophobic to be honest.
But if this is what we’ve got to do to play golf I’m more than happy to do it and stick to the rules.
Last week we were in the middle of Edinburgh (luckily my caddy was driving so I didn’t have to deal with the parking), it was a pretty small hotel and our view was a brick wall so we felt quite boxed in.
But this week the hotel is great and we have a lovely view of downtown Glasgow, so I feel like we have a bit more space and not so cramped.
We’re only meant to be close to our caddies, they have all the tables set up for twos and if your caddy isn’t with you it means you have to sit on your own.
The tables are all spread out, there are people to monitor we’re sticking to the rules and hand sanitizer everywhere, so I do feel really safe. It was huge that there were no positive results last week and now we’ve just drove from one tournament to another. People have come from America, Europe and all over the world so it’s been so well organised.”
“People always ask me what my favourite tournament is, and regardless of who asks me I always say that it’s the British Open.
I love every golf course we play on it, I’m maybe not a huge fan of Woburn though, I love links golf and Woburn is more tree lined and more like an American course.
We visit so many nice towns that are so safe and so unique, I always make time to walk out and explore and do some sightseeing.
The courses are always next to the sea too so we get some magnificent views. I live in Las Vegas so we don’t get to see the ocean that often.
It’s so peaceful out here, it’s a completely different vibe. You feel like you’ve gone back in time to the 19th centry a little bit. Things are so modernised in America so coming here is a really special week and I have so many good memories.
I love running outside so when I played at Kingsbarns and St Andrews I would run around the town a lot. It’s so sad that I can’t do that here, it’s pretty limited with what we can do.
Everything else is not that different, except for having no crowd and standing on the 18th tee and seeing that nobody’s there to meet us is a bit strange.”