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Lindblad wins #ANNIKAInvUSA

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Ingrid Lindblad of Halmstad, Sweden, became the first Swedish-born player to win the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex after making par on the first hole of a three-way playoff.

The 11th ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex boasts a field featuring the best female junior golfers from around the world. The 72-player field includes seven of the top-25 girls in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and two of the top 10. Lindblad will receive a Symetra Tour exemption into the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March.

Lindblad, playing in her first AJGA event, entered the final round three strokes back of the lead at 1-under-par 143. The 18-year-old carded two birdies on her front nine, only to follow both up with bogeys on the subsequent hole to make the turn at even-par 36. Lindblad settled in on the back nine however, making a birdie on the par-4 No. 12 and an eagle on the reachable par-4 No. 14. She got up-and-down on the par-4 No. 18 for par to secure her spot in the playoff at 2-under-par 214.

Lindblad entered the playoff with second-round leader Kaiyuree Moodley of Johannesburg, South Africa, and Jensen Castle of West Columbia, South Carolina. Moodley and Castle both missed the green on their approaches to the par-4 No. 9 and failed to get up-and-down, while Lindblad two-putted for par and the victory.

Moodley, also playing in her first AJGA event, posted two birdies on each nine to finish the tournament with a total of 12. The South African posted the lowest round of the tournament with her second-round 4-under-par 68.

Castle came from behind to gain a spot in the playoff behind her final-round 2-under-par 70. The University of Kentucky signee’s round matched the lowest of the day and included a total of five birdies, with four of them coming on the back nine. Castle’s best finish prior to this tournament was second at the 2018 Foley Performance Academy @ EaglesDream Junior Championship.

Annabell Fuller of London, United Kingdom, and Yuka Saso of Manila, Philippines, finished T4 at 1-under-par 215. Fuller was the first-round leader after posting a 3-under-par 69 in her first AJGA event. This is the latest in a series of top-10 Invitational finishes for Saso, which began with a tenth-place finish at the ANA Junior Inspiration last March. Since then she won the Thunderbird International Junior and finished second at the Rolex Tournament of Champions over Thanksgiving.