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Lindberg the last woman standing at ANA Inspiration

Lindberg after her traditional jump into Poppies Pond (Photo: Getty Images)
Pernilla Lindberg became the 5th player to make her breakthrough LPGA Tour victory at The ANA Inspiration and the 16th to make the event their first major when she was left as the last woman standing after 80 holes of the first major of the season at Rancho Mirage in California.

Returning to her carry over playoff battle with seven-time major winner, Inbee Park, at 8.00am on Monday morning California time after darkness had brought a halt to play on Sunday evening, Lindberg would eventually win at the 8th extra hole hole after holing a 30 footer slam dunk at the 10th hole of the Dinah Shore layout at Rancho Mirage.

With Park unable to respond the title was the Swede’s, a victory which will be career and life changing for the Orlando based 31-year old.

Lindberg put a lot of faith in her fighting qualities as she took on such a respected, credentialed and powerful opponent in a battle where she boxed well above her weight.

“I mean, I just know I'm a grinder, and it was just, as I said yesterday, I just felt this is mine,” said the champion after her win. “I'm going to do this. I just knew I could, and I just kept fighting away. I couldn't believe when that last putt went in.

“The first thing I said when I holed that last putt was I know Inbee's going to hole hers too, so I started thinking about the 17th hole again, but she didn't. It was mine.

“Since I was a kid. I mean, for as long as I can remember. I remember writing some goals probably right when I got to high school. Writing about the dream scenario, and it would be to obviously win a major championship and leave a mark in history. But at the same time it felt like too big of a dream to come true, but it has.”

Lindberg’s parents were on hand to witness such a special moment in their daughter’s life.

“It's so cool. The only reason I'm playing golf is because of them. I'm so happy they're here. I've probably given my dad I don't know how many heart attacks over the last few days, but I'm just so happy they're here and get to see this and we get to celebrate it together.”

The’US$420,000 she won for her efforts will make a difference but so too will the extended LPGA Tour exemption she earns, a five-year exemption on the LPGA Tour and entry into all of the majors in women’s golf over the next five years about to make life a lot easier.

Park was valiant, gracious and philosophical in defeat and acknowledged the efforts of her conqueror.

“Yeah, I'm really happy for her. This one was not an easy major win for her as well. I mean, 8-hole playoff, I've never done something like that before either. So, sure, she'll have a great future and a great championship. Congratulations to her.

"I'm really satisfied with the way I'm playing this year (however) and even if I didn't win today, I felt like I put up a good play this week all week. Even in the playoffs I didn't make much mistakes, but I just couldn't make the putts.

“The morning greens were a little bit slower than I anticipated, I hit a couple putts short. I had a couple of opportunities. I'm a little bit disappointed, but I'm really happy the way I played this week.”

The LPGA Tour takes a one week break as the focus of world golfing attention falls on Augusta National and will return in ten days’ time at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii.






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