If anyone is overjoyed to return to the Home of Golf, it’s major champion Sophia Popov. Almost a year removed from her maiden major title at the AIG Women’s Open, Popov is excited for the opportunity to hit the links once again. Last year at this time, Popov was playing the Epson Tour’s Founder Tribute, where she finished second, before she traveled to compete at Royal Troon. It’s been a whirlwind year for the German, who said she feels like she’s embraced what comes with being a major champ.
“At the beginning, it was all fun and games, and at some point, you know, you feel a little bit overwhelmed,” Popov said. “I think my personality always suits the position that I'm in. For the most part, everything is fun. But it's definitely more demanding. The schedule is more demanding, the time that is required of you. But like I said, those are things that are easy to complain about but really it's what we're all hoping for.”
Like everyone else this week, Popov is currently scouting out Dumbarnie Links for the first time. She may feel like she’s running on fumes after competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, after playing all 18 holes on Wednesday, Popov is gearing up for “very interesting week.”
“The course, it's awesome. I played all 18 today. It was very enjoyable. I think it's a great golf course. Obviously depends on the weather conditions that we get. You can tell it's fairly new. But I think it's a great test and I think it could be set up in so many different ways,” said Popov. “I'm very excited to be back in Scotland. I quite like it here as most people would probably think by now. I just think it's been a very, very intense season.
“Our schedule is very packed, especially with the Olympics last week. I think I'm a little bit tired now still with the jetlag everything and but going out and playing today was very fun for me. I really had a good time and it kind of reminded me a lot of last year. So yeah, I just -- I'm excited to be back.”