Emotional Sophia Popov relieved to overcome ‘long road’ to win AIG Women’s Open after battling Lyme disease

Sophia Popov has revealed her relief at overcoming a “long road” to win the AIG Women’s Open following a battle with Lyme disease.

Ranked at 304th in the world heading into the major at Royal Troon, Popov pulled off a huge upset to win by three shots.

Popov endured a setback when she lost her card on the LPGA Tour last year and was only able to play this week after clinching a top-10 finish at the Marathon Classic two weeks ago.

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And the German, 27, spoke candidly about her journey, including serious health issues over several years.

“It’s honestly something I haven’t really talked about a lot before, but my rookie year, I started having a lot of health issues,” she said after winning at Royal Troon.

“And honestly we didn’t even know what it was. It took about, a total of about 20 doctor visits three years later to figure out that I had Lyme disease.

“At that point it was so chronic, though, that I had just been struggling a lot with fatigue, and honestly, I had like 10 different symptoms and it was just very…it was a tough time to go through just because I didn’t know what it was, and it took so long to pinpoint exactly what was going on.

“For me to regain all my energy…I lost like 25 pounds and had to regain all of that and get back to where I was before, and it was just a struggle, and really, only my inner circle knew about that until now.

Lyme is obviously something that sticks with you to be honest. But I’m very disciplined as far as my health goes, my nutrition goes and working out and doing everything in my power to have as little as possible symptoms, and round, I have it under control really well. I want to keep it that way.

“It was a long road to get here because there was a lot of personal research and figuring out on my own what would make me feel better, and I’m glad I got to the point where I’m feeling pretty good, and hopefully it stays that way.”

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