Following the 2021 AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie, Madelene Sagstrom talked of “bittersweet” emotions. The Swede, who became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2020 Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, was ecstatic over her tie for second in the championship, a new career-best finish in her major appearances. Yet a bogey on the final hole cost her a chance for a potential playoff with eventual winner and friend Anna Nordqvist. “I'm extremely happy for Anna,” she had said minutes after the finale, “but wish I would have played after.”
Fast forward to 2022 at Muirfield, and Sagstrom sits in a tie for second at -7 overall heading into the weekend thanks in part to a 6-under 65 recorded on Friday. Sagstrom carded eight birdies on the day, including three straight on Nos. 7-9 and in her closing two holes, along with two bogeys en route to a new career-best AIG Women’s Open round.
“I did miss two quite short putts but I putted really, really well today,” Sagstrom said as the key to her strong play. “That helped my momentum. I was hitting it good enough to give myself some chances and keeping it in play. Didn't hit in the bunkers today which helps out in links golf but putting was the thing.”
Sagstrom has earned a couple impressive results since her finish at Carnoustie, including four top-10 finishes in 2022. Last week, she earned 14th at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open as tune up for the major, her career-best finish at the event. Sagstrom has had a love/hate relationship with links golf in general, calling it “mega hate at first sight” when playing the Women’s Amateur Championship in Wales in her young career, an affinity that’s now turned into an appreciation as she competes in her sixth appearance in the AIGWO.
“I think it's one of those very charming way of playing golf,” said Sagstrom. “It really just brings out all the creativity and you just have to really bring out all the tools that you have.”