Lindberg birdies 8th playoff hole to beat Park at ANA Inspiration

Lindberg birdies 8th playoff hole to beat Park at ANA Inspiration

Former Oklahoma State golfer Pernilla Lindberg won her first LPGA major championship on Monday, beating Inbee Park on the 8th playoff hole to win the ANA Inspiration at Rancho Mirage, California.

With the first major of the season on the line, Park and Lindberg matched each other stroke-for-stroke after four attempts to find a victor on the par-five 18th before darkness descended on Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.

Lindberg scrambled for pars on the first four holes on the back nine, ran in an 18-foot birdie putt on 14 and made a 25-footer for par on 15 for a two-stroke swing. World No. 7 Park, a seven-time Major champion, had missed a 15-foot birdie chance that would have extended the play-off. Park, in the next group, followed by making a four-footer to tie.

The eight-hole playoff was the longest sudden-death playoff in LPGA major championship history.

"I've played a lot of golf in my life, and I just feel like the pieces are kind of falling together", Lindberg said. "So, I really don't have much of a shot". "I knew it was getting a little bit on the edge there, but, yeah, we both finished with a par, which is good in the dark, I think".

Both players faced similar putts to what they'd seen the first time around. On the second playoff hole, Park, standing 150 yards from the hole, almost put her third shot into the water in front of the green. "I'm a little bit disappointed, but I'm really happy the way I played this week". "Every time I made a mistake, I tried to bounce back as fast as I could".

Pernilla Lindberg glanced at Poppie's Pond walking off the 18th green Saturday at the ANA Inspiration, knowing that she put herself in flawless position to celebrate her first professional title with the traditional victory plunge. Park laid up and hit a wedge to 8 feet.

At that point in regulation, four players were still on the course, including Park, who watched from the fairway as Song stroked in her putt. This one was not an easy major win for her, as well.

Nine years after turning professional, Pernilla Lindberg is a victor at last - and a major victor at that. She missed her first putt for eagle and the outright lead but made her birdie to move into a group of five sharing the top of the leaderboard. At the same time, that felt like too big of a dream to even come true.

"One of my goals for this year was to win a major, and now that I have a chance to do it, I will do the best I can tomorrow", she said.

"I knew I was two strokes back when I stood at the 16th tee, and fortunately, I was able to make two late birdies to get into the playoff", she said.

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