LINDBERG SEALS THE DEAL
Well it took 8 extra holes that
ran into an extra day because of failing light and a magical 30 foot putt to seal the deal, but for the second consecutive year the winner of the ANA Inspiration was decided in a playoff.
In regular play Jennifer Song and Inbee Park fired rounds of 5-under par, 67 to catch 54-hole leader Pernilla Lindberg, who birdied the 72nd hole to play her way into that playoff at 15-under par. Song and Park had begun the final round at Mission Hills Country Club at 10-under par, four-strokes behind Lindberg.
The group returned to the par 5, 18th hole for the sudden death playoff. As they remain tied, they continued to play the 18th hole three more times before moving to the par 4, 10th and then the par 3, 17th. They played the par 5, 18th hole four times, in which Jennifer Song was eliminated on the third extra hole with a par.
Due to darkness, the playoff resumed on the Monday (our Tuesday) at the par 4, 10th hole and under the rules, if needed, would continue to the par 3, 17th and then the par 5, 18th.
To say this tournament had everything, is to sell short the drama that unfolded. There were two sister acts in the mix and among those who made appearances on the final-round leaderboard were a few who had never won a major – Jessica Korda, Charley Hull and Caroline Masson among them – and a slew who had never even won a regular LPGA event, including Lindberg, Song, Nelly Korda, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Ayako Uehara, Moriya Jutanugarn and Amy Olson.
Lindberg started the tournament at 95 in the Rolex Rankings and has dreamt of winning a major since she was a teenager.
“I remember writing some goals in high school about the dream scenario to win a major and leave a mark in history,” said Lindberg. “It felt like too big a dream to come true but it has.”
Lydia Ko who started reasonable well finished T20th. A credible result given all the circumstances.
Pernilla Lindberg and Inbee Park during the 2018 ANA Inspiration.