An amazing story unfolded at Scotland’s Royal Troon over the weekend in the Women’s British Open, with 27-year-old Sophia Popov of Germany firing a 3-under 68 on Sunday for an improbable two-stroke victory.
It was improbable for many reasons: 1. Popov began the week as the No. 304-ranked player in the world; 2. She hadn’t won on a major tour since turning pro in 2014; 3. She had missed seven cuts in eight LPGA starts a year ago and; 4. Just three weeks ago she was caddying on the LPGA Tour.
That’s right — Popov was at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio for the LPGA’s restart after a long break due to COVID-19 as a caddie for her friend, Anne van Dam.
Popov played the following week in the LPGA Marathon Classic after several international players skipped the event over coronavirus concerns. And did she ever take advantage of the opportunity, tying for ninth — her first ever top-10 finish on the LPGA — to earn a spot in the field at Royal Troon.
“It feels amazing,” Popov said. “There’s a lot of hard work behind it, and a lot of struggles that I went through the last six years, especially health-wise, and I’m just glad I was able to overcome everything and just keep my head in it. I knew I was capable. I just had a lot of obstacles thrown in my way, and I’m glad I stuck with it. I almost quit playing last year, so thank God I didn’t.”
With the victory, Popov earned $675,000. Morning Read notes that’s roughly six times her career earnings on the LPGA and also grants here LPGA membership.
What a story.