Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg has claimed her first LPGA Tour win after sinking a 30-foot birdie putt in a dramatic 8-hole play-off against Inbee Park.
After 193 tournament starts, Pernilla Lindberg has secured her first LPGA Tour win in a spectacular finish at the ANA Inspiration.
At the close of the fourth round on Sunday at Mission Hills Country Club, three players were tied at 15-under par; Inbee Park, Pernilla Lindberg, and Jennifer Song, forcing a three-way play-off until Song was eliminated after the third play-off hole, with Park and Lindberg both making birdies. After playing the par 5, 18th hole four times, it wasn’t long until darkness won out, forcing Park and Lindberg to return to the course on Monday morning.
The play-off resumed on the par 4, 10th hole, where both players made par before moving on to the par 3, 17th hole. Both players sunk significant putts after wayward shots from the 17th tee, extending the play-off to the par 5 18th hole yet again.
This time changing strategy, Lindberg hit a wood to get on to the green in two, whilst Park laid up and hit a wedge to 10-feet of the pin. Putting out first, Park missed her birdie attempt and made par, leaving Lindberg with a good chance to win despite being 70-feet from the hole. After lagging her first putt, Lindberg left herself a 7-feet putt for birdie though narrowly missed right.
Returning back to the 10th hole for the 8th and final play-off hole, Lindberg was first to putt and sunk an impressive 30-foot putt for birdie. Park was unable to answer and missed her 15-footer, leaving Lindberg to enjoy the victory of her first LPGA Tour win and major title.
The 31-year-old capped off her first ever win with the traditional leap into Poppie's Pond accompanied by her caddy, Daniel Tayler, and her parents, Jan and Gunilla.
Lindberg is the fifth player to make the ANA Inspiration her first LPGA Tour victory, joining Helen Alfredsson (1993), Nanci Bowen (1995), Morgan Pressel (2007) and Stacy Lewis (2011). She joins Alfredsson and Annika Sorenstam as the only Swedish players to win the ANA Inspiration.