Lindberg beats Park to score major upset

Reuters
SWEDE Pernilla Lindberg made her first LPGA victory a major when she won a marathon playoff at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, on Monday.
Reuters

SWEDE Pernilla Lindberg made her first LPGA victory a major when she won a marathon playoff at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, on Monday.

World No. 95 Lindberg completed a big upset when she rammed home a 25-foot birdie putt to beat South Korean Park In-bee on the eighth extra hole at Mission Hills.

Lindberg’s winning putt slammed against the back of the cup at speed and fell in at the par-4 10th.

Seven-time major champion Park then missed a 15-foot birdie chance that would have extended the playoff.

Lindberg is the third Swede to win the Mission Hills major, after Annika Sorenstam (thrice) and Helen Alfredsson.

Her unlikely victory came after the 31-year-old slept on the lead four nights in a row.

“I just know I’m a grinder and towards the end yesterday I just felt this is mine. I’m kind of due this,” Lindberg, 31, told Golf Channel. “I just looked at every day as just the same thing again, and even today, I felt like I went out and did my same routine. I just felt so calm and I felt this could be mine.”

The playoff was forced into Monday because darkness halted play on Sunday night after four extra holes.

What started as a three-way playoff was whittled down to two when American Jennifer Song was unable to match the birdies by Lindberg and Park at the third extra hole.

Lindberg had a chance to win at the 7th extra hole, the par-5 18th, but she hit a timid birdie putt from about five feet that missed on the low side.

She made amends at the next hole, however, to complete a dream that goes back to her childhood.

“I remember writing some goals when I got to high school, the dream scenario and it would be to win a major championship and leave a mark in history. But at the same time that felt like too big of a dream to even come true, but it has.”

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