Pernilla Lindberg always seems to have a smile on her face. And this week her grin grew a little larger as she returned to Mission Hills Country Club for the first time since winning the ANA Inspiration in April.
Shortly after touching down in Palm Springs, the Swede headed out to the course and returned to the 10th hole at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. It was at that par 4 where Lindberg sealed her first victory and major title on the LPGA Tour, pulling off an epic defeat of Hall of Famer Inbee Park following an eight-hole duel that spanned two days. Tuesday, Lindberg reminisced about her experience during the championship’s media day at the club.
“There are a lot of extra emotions coming out right now because it’s just a special place to me,” Lindberg said. “I couldn’t have scripted that week any better. I was leading wire-to-wire, the Monday playoff and everything.”
Lining the walkway next to Poppie’s Pond, which leads to the 18th green, are plaques commemorating the champions of the ANA Inspiration. Tuesday, Lindberg saw for the first time her name etched alongside the other storied champions of the season’s first major.
The return to Mission Hills evoked more emotions than the Lindberg expected, so she was relieved to making her first trip this week rather than in four weeks when she looks to defend her title.
“It’s good to come back now and go through it all in my head. When I am back in a few weeks’ time I’ll be ready to go, and this time around I can just soak it all in.”
The past year has been a whirlwind for Lindberg who was voted golfer of the year in Sweden, represented her country at the UL International Crown and tied the knot with her former caddie, Daniel Taylor. Another highlight for Lindberg was walking inside the ropes with fellow Swedes Henrik Stenson and Alex Noren at THE PLAYERS, where she also hit a shot at the famous par 3, 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.
“I’ve had so many opportunities come my way because of my win here,” Lindberg said. “With that, it takes a lot of extra time and energy and I have said yes to all these opportunities that have come my way over the last year. I wouldn’t really change it if I went back again.”