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Three-time major-winner Anna Nordqvist has ended her relationship with a Saudi oil company.
The 35-year-old was announced as an ambassador for Aramco last summer but has told the Swedish news agency TT that she has ended that partnership after being subjected to a torrent of criticism.
“I need to think about myself and I haven’t felt good about this,” explained Nordqvist. “I wasn’t really prepared to get such an incredible amount of hatred and mean comments from people who don’t even know me.”
Aramco, which has invested heavily in women’s professional golf in recent years, is primarily owned by the Saudi Arabian state, which has been accused of using its wealth to “sportswash” its human rights record.
“It was never about money for me,” added the world No.30. “I wanted to do something for ladies’ golf and especially for the European Tour.”
Nordqvist’s decision has been welcomed by Amnesty International. A spokesperson for the human rights group called it “very wise”.
Despite this, the Swede confirmed she will still be playing in next week’s LET event in the Middle East country.
“I need to get in four tournaments on the European Tour before August because my big goal is to play in the Solheim Cup,” she said.
“I feel it’s important to play all over the world, to influence younger generations to dream big.”
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