Sophia Popov Enjoying Aramco Team Series Format

The German is playing well and enjoying her experience in her debut Aramco Team Series tournament

Sophia Popov hits an iron shot from the fairway
(Credit: Ladies European Tour)

The German is playing well and enjoying her experience in her debut Aramco Team Series tournament

Sophia Popov, in her debut in these Aramco Team Series events in New York City, shot 7-under 65 to take the individual lead and help her team of four get to 16-under collectively and grab the early lead in the team competition as well.

Popov said she couldn’t wait to play this Glen Oaks Club course in New York City after watching intently Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson’s playoff here in 2017’s Northern Trust.

The 29-year-old was understandably pleased with her first round.

“It was obviously really solid, these past three or four weeks I’ve had a hard time going lower, I was making a lot of small mistakes,” Popov said.

“Today I got off to a little bit of a slow start but I was hitting it well.

"I told myself to stay patient out there because there are a lot of birdies if you wait for them and that’s what I did.”

The former AIG Women’s Open champ said this week’s new format has come as a pleasant surprise during her busy recent schedule.

“I really like this format, honestly it’s been great for me this week to focus on something different, I love team events, the Solheim was such a huge event for me and I had so much fun and this is very much like that, you’re playing as a team,” Popov said.

Sophia Popov and her team at this week's Aramco Team Series (Credit: Garrett Johnston)

“It doesn’t matter if you make one or two bogeys, if you come back and make two birdies then we’re doing well as a team and honestly to me that’s what counts more this week.”

Popov also spent some time with her team after the round and seemed happy with their company.

“I told my teammates that I’m all in as far as the team part goes, individually that’s nice if I’m playing well but honestly that’s mentally freed me up a bit and making me enjoy (golf) a little more out there.”

Garrett Johnston is a reporter and presenter based in Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnstonGarrett. He also hosts the Beyond the Clubhouse podcast.

Garrett Johnston
Garrett Johnston

Garrett Johnston is a golf reporter and presenter who’s covered pro golf for 12 years including over 30 majors. His goal each year is always to “grow with the rookies” on Tour. The idea is to get to know the superstars before they become household names. Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, and Patrick Reed are just some of the players Johnston has covered from their early pro careers for their hometown newspapers. Johnston’s favorite event is always The Open, and he credits his unforgettable experience covering the 2015 Open at St. Andrews where he got to interview Tom Watson (in his final Open) and winner Zach Johnson exclusively throughout the week as his favorite event so far. Johnston has also developed a strong rapport with Tour caddies and regularly contributes to Caddie Network and Golf.com. He also has his own podcast: Beyond The Clubhouse