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Lindblad becomes first Swedish-born winner of Annika Invite
Ingrid Lindblad (Annika Foundation/Twitter photo)
Ingrid Lindblad (Annika Foundation/Twitter photo)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (Jan. 21, 2019) – 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.

Lindblad will receive a Symetra Tour exemption into the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March as a result of her win.

Lindblad, playing in her first AJGA event, entered the final round three strokes back of the lead at 1-under 143. The 18-year-old carded two birdies on her front nine, only to follow both 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 12th and an eagle on the reachable par-4 14th. She got up-and-down on the par-4 18th for par to secure her spot in the playoff at 2-under 214.

Lindblad entered the playoff with second-round leader Kaiyuree Moodley of Johannesburg, South Africa, and Jensen Castle of West Columbia, S.C. Moodley and Castle both missed the green on their approaches to the par-4 ninth 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 68.

Castle came from behind to gain a spot in the playoff behind her final-round 2-under 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 at EaglesDream Junior Championship.

Annabell Fuller of London, United Kingdom, and Yuka Saso of Manila, Philippines, finished T-4 at 1-under 215. Fuller was the first-round leader after posting a 3-under 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.

ROUND 3

Kaiyuree Moodley of Johannesburg, South Africa, vaulted into the lead at the AJGA’s Annika Invitational on Sunday after firing a 4-under 68 in the second round to reach 4-under 140 for the tournament.

Moodley's stellar round was even more impressive given the weather conditions during the day. Wind gusts reached as high as 30 mph with the wind holding steady throughout the day at 15-20 mph. In light of the weather forecast, the yardage was adjusted to 5,902 yards.

Moodley, playing in her first AJGA event, entered the day three strokes off the lead after posting a first-round even-par 72. The South African wasted no time moving up the leaderboard as she fired three birdies in her first four holes and didn’t look back. Moodley added another three birdies on the back nine to finish with six on the day and 10 for the tournament. Her round was the lowest of the day in windy conditions. Moodley will enter the final round with a two-stroke lead.

Julia Gregg of Farmers Branch, Texas, sits in second at 2-under-par 142 after carding a 3-under-par 69 in the second round. The University of Arkansas verbal commit has posted six birdies over the course of the tournament. Gregg, who was named to the 2017 Transamerica Scholastic Honor Roll, won the 2016 Cameron McCormick Junior All-Star. Her best 2018 finish was fifth at the Kyle Stanley Championship by Transamerica.

Annabell Fuller of London, United Kingdom; Ingrid Lindblad of Halmstad, Sweden; and Yuka Saso of Manila, Philippines, are T3 at 1-under 143. Fuller, the first-round leader, is playing in her first AJGA event. Lindblad, who is verbally committed to Louisiana State University, is also playing in her first AJGA event. Saso won the 2018 Thunderbird International Junior.

ROUND 1

Londoner Annabell Fuller leads the Annika Invitational presented by Rolex by one after an opening-round, 3-under-par 69.

Fuller, who finished T-3 at the Harder Hall Invitational a week ago, started her round with a bogey but quickly recovered with birdies at Nos. 2 and 4, making the turn at 1-under 35. The 16-year-old, playing in her first AJGA event, tallied two more birdies on Nos. 10 and 11. Fuller had no bogeys after the turn and finished with a 2-under-par 34 on the back nine.

Lexanne Halama of Knoxville, Tenn., is tied for second after carding a 2-under 70. She had three birdies and just one bogey during her round. Halama recently finished runner-up at the 2018 AJGA Junior at RiverWatch and has four top-5 finishes in her AJGA career.

Also tied for second is Yuka Saso of Manila, Philippines. She had four birdies in the first round on her way to a 2-under 70, one back from Fuller. The University of Georgia verbal commit finished runner-up twice in 2018 at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and at the inaugural Annika Invitational Australasia. She has one win in her AJGA career at the 2018 Thunderbird International Junior.

Valentina Rossi of Rosario, Argentina, Mika Jin of Fremont, Calif., and Nicole Whiston of San Diego, Calif., are tied for fourth at 1-under 71.

The champion will receive a Symetra Tour exemption into the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March.

ABOUT THE ANNIKA Invitational

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ANNIKA Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play competition featuring 72 girls, ages 14-18.

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