Pernilla Lindberg wins ANA Inspiration at eighth playoff hole
Swedish golfer claims Major after epic battle with South Korea’s Inbee Park
Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg poses with the trophy after defeating Inbee Park of South Korea on the eighth hole of a playoff at the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. Photograph: Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg claimed the first title of her career by defeating Olympic champion Inbee Park to win the ANA Inspiration in California.
Lindberg holed from 25 feet for birdie on the eighth extra hole at Mission Hills Country Club and Park was unable to follow suit from 15 feet.
The playoff for the first women’s Major of the year had been halted after four holes due to darkness on Sunday evening, with Jennifer Song eliminated with a par on the third visit to the par-five 18th.
Park and Lindberg resumed play at 8am local time in California on Monday and Lindberg agonisingly left a long birdie attempt inches short on the par-four 10th, with both players then scrambling for par on the 17th.
Lindberg had the upper hand when she reached the green in two on the par-five 18th, but could only three-putt for par after South Korean Park had left her own birdie attempt short from close range.
“I just know I’m a grinder and towards the end yesterday I just felt, ‘This is mine’,” Lindberg told the Golf Channel. “I just kept fighting away and could not believe that putt went in.
“I knew Inbee was going to hole her putt and I was already thinking about the 17th hole again, but she didn’t and it was mine!
“I remember writing some goals in high school about the dream scenario to win a Major and leave a mark in history. It felt like too big a dream to come true but it has.
“I’m so happy my parents are here. I’ve probably given my dad so many heart attacks over the last few days.”
Park, who has won seven Major titles, said: “Even in the playoff I didn’t make many mistakes, but I just couldn’t make any putts.
“The greens were a little slower this morning and I let a few short. I’m a little disappointed but happy with the way I played all week.”