What happened at the ANA Inspiration?
It took an astonishing eight extra holes (and 193 starts) for Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg to land her first LPGA victory and, with it, a major title.
And the 31-year-old did it in some style, knocking in a 30-footer to edge out Inbee Park who was bidding to win her eighth major.
This was the first time that the tournament has been decided on a Monday.
On Sunday night three players began the play-off after finishing at 15 under – the fast-finishing Jessica Korda (66) and Ariya Jutanugarn (65) came up one shot short while Charley Hull was two back – and America’s Jennifer Song left the party at the third time of asking after Lindberg and Park both birdied.
Then, after another visit and a pair of pars down the iconic 18th, it was decided that they would return on Monday morning.
The time they would tackle the 10th, both players parred. Then on to the 17th where Park holed from 15 feet and Lindberg followed her in from 10 feet, two more pars.
The Swede then took on and found the 18th green but three-putted from distance before Lindberg drained her 30-footer and Park, the Olympic champion, missed from half that distance.
Lindberg’s win was all the more impressive given that she led after every round and she is the fifth player to make the ANA her first LPGA victory. Sweden can now boast the last two major winners in the ladies’ game following Anna Nordqvist’s success at the Evian.
She began the week in 95th spot on the world rankings, this victory moves Lindberg, who didn’t make it onto Europe’s Solheim Cup side in 2017, up into 34th.
“I dreamt of this moment ever since I was a kid. I remember writing goals when I was high school to win a major and I thought it was too good of a dream to come true, but it has. I know April Fool’s was yesterday but this somehow feels related to that.”
Moments of the Week
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 2, 2018
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 2, 2018
FOR THE WIN!
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) April 2, 2018
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 1, 2018
Fun fact. All Swedish female major winners have had a major as their first ever LPGA win. Could this be a sign for @pernillagolf ?
— Sophie Gustafson (@SophieGustafson) April 1, 2018
Lindberg and Song have combined for 2 top-10s in majors. Inbee Park has 7 major victories.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) April 2, 2018
I know fans wonder at home what these players are like in real life. I've been covering Pernilla Lindberg since her college days at OSU and she's as sweet as they come.
— Beth Ann Nichols (@GolfweekNichols) March 31, 2018
Ok. Inbee Park putts better than Tiger.
— Bob Estes (@BobEstesPGA) April 2, 2018
Pernilla Lindberg has balls of steel. To have never won an event and face this player, this PUTTER, in a playoff that she had to sleep on, after leading wire to wire, and keep sinking putts like this with no sign of nerves… I don't care who you like, she deserves this.
— Stina Sternberg (@StinaSternberg) April 2, 2018