Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Lindberg edges Park on eighth extra hole at ANA


Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg, second left, jumps into Poppie’s Pond after winning the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, on Monday.

Photo: AP

Pernilla Lindberg on Monday plunged into Poppie’s Pond with her parents and fiance-caddie Daniel Taylor, celebrating her first professional victory in the biggest way possible in women’s golf.

The 31-year-old Swede needed a major-record eight sudden-death holes over two days to finish off Inbee Park in the ANA Inspiration, ending it on Monday morning with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-four 10th.

Park’s 20-footer to match missed to the left.

They played four holes on Monday after going until it was too dark to see — and then played some more — on Sunday night.

Lindberg won in her 250th start on the LPGA, Ladies European and Symetra tours, sharing the moment with father Jan and mother Gunilla. They introduced her to golf at Bollnas Golf Club about 240km north of Stockholm.

“It’s so cool,” Lindberg said. “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.”

On Sunday, Jennifer Song dropped out with a par on the third playoff hole, and Park and Lindberg decided to take one more trip down the par-five 18th in fading light.

With portable lights and the scoreboard helping illuminate the green, Park holed a 6-footer for par and Lindberg made a short putt to match. They finished at 7:21pm, 15 minutes after sunset.

Play resumed at 8am on No. 10, with Lindbergh leaving a birdie putt an inch short from a little lower on the green than her winner later on the hole.

They made up-and-down pars on the par-three 17th, with Park holing a tricky 8-foot downhill putt and Lindberg staying alive from a foot closer.

Lindberg then reached the 18th in two, but was on the far left side and was only able to get her eagle putt within 7 feet. Park laid up and hit a wedge to 8 feet.

They both missed.

Lindberg is the fourth player to lead wire-to-wire in the event and the first since Pat Hurst in 1998, and the fifth to win the tournament for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Lindberg is the sixth Swedish female major champion, joining Liselotte Neumann, Helen Alfredsson, Annika Sorenstam, Anna Nordqvist and Jenny Lidback, all of whom also won their first LPGA Tour title in a major.

Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling finished the tournament tied for 60th on a one-over 289 total, while Kaohsiung-born Candie Kung of the US was in a group tied for 66th a further two strokes back.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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