Sweden's Ingrid Lindblad wins ANNIKA Invitational USA in playoff

Golfweek/Kevin Casey

Sweden's Ingrid Lindblad wins ANNIKA Invitational USA in playoff

Junior

Sweden's Ingrid Lindblad wins ANNIKA Invitational USA in playoff

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – It was Ingrid Lindblad’s first career AJGA event, and one of the junior tour’s most competitive events at that.

And yet, she didn’t come in timid.

“My expectations were pretty high actually,” Lindblad said.

Her instincts were spot on.

Lindblad, 18, sank a short par putt on the first playoff hole Monday at the ANNIKA Invitational USA to secure a win in her AJGA opener. Not only did that triumph come in a big event, the victory also meant an exemption into the Symetra Tour’s Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March.

The Halmstad, Sweden, product began the day three shots off the lead and kept trading birdies and bogeys in Monday’s final round at the World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire Course. That is until a chip-in eagle at the par-4 14th.

She held a one-shot lead at 3 under with two holes to play, but nerves prompted her to bogey the par-4 17th.

Lindblad managed to drain a 3-footer for par at the last to get in at 2-under 214 and reach a playoff with Kaiyuree Moodley (the 36-hole leader) and Jensen Castle.

The trio began the extra session at the par-4 ninth. Moodley went long on her approach, thinned a chip 30 feet by the hole and couldn’t roll in the par putt. Castle missed the green but chipped 8 feet under the hole.

Lindblad was the only one to find the surface in regulation, but her 40-footer for birdie went 4 feet left of the cup. Castle then had a chance to put the pressure on, but her putt was left the entire way.

Lindblad simply stepped up to her remainder and buried it for the win. (Defending champion Angelina Ye managed to finish sixth at even par.)

While new to AJGA competition, Lindblad is no stranger to strong performances.

The LSU signee is No. 131 the World Amateur Golf Ranking and has now won five events since 2017. She competed in the Junior Ryder Cup last fall for Europe and also finished second in the ANNIKA Invitational Europe last year.

Lindblad said the key this week was her wedge play from inside 100 yards, as it facilitated a lot of key birdies. She did note, though, that this is an area she is continuing to focus on for improvement.

She is the first Swedish-born player to win the event in the namesake of one of Annika Sorenstam, a Swedish golfing legend.

That meant this win held extra value.

“It was really cool to win this event,” Lindblad said. “I played in the (ANNIKA) event in Sweden three times and I think that’s a cool event, but I think this is even cooler.”

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