Nordqvist finding magic touch in 2014 after big changes
It may sound like a Jimmy Buffet song, but Anna Nordqvist has experienced considerable changes in latitudes and attitudes in recent months.
The 6-foot Swede has overhauled virtually every aspect of her game – from her coach and caddie to equipment and even her attire – and the changes have paid off in spades. Nordqvist is fresh off her second victory of the 2014 season, the Kia Classic, matching her win total from the previous five years combined.
Nordqvist amassed an impressive LPGA Tour career heading into this season, appearing on three European Solheim Cup teams, winning twice, notching 30 top-10 finishes and earning more than $3 million in career earnings. But she wasn’t happy with her game or her life in general.
She switched caddies midseason last year and went to work with coach Jorge Parada at the end of January. Couple those monumental shifts with the aforementioned changes to her game, and the transformation has been immense.
“I started working with my caddie in mid July last year, Jason Gilroyed, and we make a really good team,” said Nordqvist, who jumped to 10th in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings thanks to her Kia Classic triumph. “I’ve changed my equipment, changed my clothes, changed my coach; so there’s a lot of things going on, but I feel like it’s still a work‑in‑progress but every day is getting better.”
Nordqvist, who also hoisted the winner’s trophy in Thailand in late February, is now using all TaylorMade equipment. For a complete and specific look at the tools of her trade, you can go here.
Parada has implemented some subtle changes to Nordqvist’s swing and practice regimen.
“We started a little bit on short game,” she said. “He’s a really positive person and really motivated me in practice. We’ve been working a little bit on lagging a little bit differently in the swing, and I feel like I can go after it a little bit more without hitting them left.”
Nordqvist admits some of the changes have been mental, too.
“For me, it’s all about being happy,” she said. “I feel like the last couple months have been much happier, and I’ve been in a good place thanks to my friends and thanks to my family, and I’m fortunate to have people around me that supports me in the daily grind. It’s not easy, but I’m really happy, and they cheer me up. My older brother’s kids, they make me smile every day.
“I have a lot to smile for.”
Nordqvist has been one of the big stories on Tour this season, joining Hall of Famer Karrie Webb as the only two-time winners so far and sitting second on the money list with $502,012. She’s also second in the Race to the CME Globe points and Rolex Player of the Year points this season.
The fact that the changes have made such an impact is still mind-boggling to Nordqvist.
“I’ve been working extremely hard this offseason, so I can’t believe it,” she said on Sunday after winning $255,000 in Carlsbad, Calif. “I’m still almost shaking right now standing here with another win.”
Buoyed by a positive attitude and a red-hot game, Nordqvist could be on the verge of a monster season in 2014. With the beloved Kraft Nabisco Championship taking place this weekend, perhaps a ceremonial dip at the Palm Springs event may be in store for Sunday.