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April 2, 2018

Pernilla Lindberg

Rancho Mirage, California

THE MODERATOR: It's my pleasure to welcome in your 2018 ANA Inspiration Champion, Pernilla Lindberg. Pernilla, can you even put into words what you're feeling right now?

PERNILLA LINDBERG: Not really. I mean, I just feel so happy. I know I've had a big smile on my face all week, but right now I just feel kind of a relief, but just so much excitement at the same time. It just hasn't sunk in yet. It feels like -- I can't believe that I can call myself a major champion.

THE MODERATOR: Your fiancé, Daniel, is on the bag this week. How special was it to share this whole week with him and then your parents in the crowd as well?

PERNILLA LINDBERG: It's just bigger than I could ever dream of. The only reason that I play golf is because of my parents. They're the ones who introduced me to the game, and I'm so happy they can be here and share this moment with me.

Then to be able to share it with Daniel on and off the golf course, it just makes it so special. We're going to have so many good memories to share for the rest of our lives. Hopefully tell our future family about.

Q. This was your first time leading going into the final round. It ended up taking eight playoff holes against a Hall of Famer in Inbee Park, extending into Monday. How were you able to keep so calm throughout the entire week?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I just felt like I had this calm to me, and I just stuck to myself. I really just didn't pay attention to what anyone else was doing. I just kept my routine the same every day. I just kept it kind of low-key and not really thought much about anything, and just tried to play as fearless golf as possible.

Q. If we had told you on Wednesday when you got here at Rancho Mirage that you would be sitting here and making that jump into Poppie's Pond at the end of the week, what would you have said, especially on a Monday?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I mean, obviously, that's a dream, but I probably not have believed it one little ounce. Obviously, it's what we're out here for, but just winning in the first place out here is hard enough, and then winning in a major championship where the best players show up and everyone is just trying to perform their best, yeah, I probably -- I knew I had it in me, but I didn't think I could put it all together.

Q. Pernilla, on the winning putt, you had had almost the same putt four holes earlier and left it just short, as you had done a bunch of times yesterday. How much was that on your mind when you stroked that one?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, I was really frustrated with myself yesterday leaving so many putts short. I knew that's my tendency if I get in contention to maybe not be aggressive enough on the greens. So I was really grinding out there yesterday, holing all these four, five, six-footers that I was leaving myself all day. I'm happy I did it, and I kept building confidence from that four to six-foot range because I get to practice them a lot.

I know what an incredible putter Inbee is. I know she's not going to let me get away with -- that she's not going to miss too many putts, so I wasn't going to leave that putt short. That's for sure. Even when I holed it, obviously, I was excited, but I already had my mindset on the 17th hole again, because I was counting on Inbee making hers too.

Q. I know your parents were here, but it seemed like half of your hometown was here with the number of people you hugged on the green. How many people did you have here?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I had a couple of my best friends out here on Tour. They were so kind to stick around for Monday. Sarah Jane Smith and her husband, and Azahara Munoz and her husband, they all stuck around an extra day to be out there and support me. Then my putting coach Karlsson (phonetic) and his family made the trip. I worked with him last week at the Kia Classic, and then they were actually in Arizona on vacation this week, but came back here to support me.

I don't know. I'm probably forgetting some people, but they were some of the closer ones that were on there. But otherwise, I feel like I made a lot of new fans here this week. I had two little adorable girls that followed me there.

Q. Was the water cold?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: It was quite chilly. Maybe that's why we wanted to play a few extra holes. If I would have jumped in there at 8:00, it would have been even colder, but an hour later it felt pretty good.

Q. I know it's kind of soon just after you've won and everything. But can you put this into perspective that, you know, what you've been through your entire career? You talked about being a grinder. I mean, how does this fit into that narrative?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I felt my whole career that I take small steps in the right direction the whole time. I feel like my whole career has kind of been going like this, but taking small, small steps the whole time. One of my goals this year was to win an event, but I probably was more thinking, you know, smaller, European Tour event, even winning a regular event out here. So it feels like it's probably the first time in my career that I took a really big step upwards.

Obviously this was where I wanted to get to. I probably had a longer plan of even getting here. But it's hard to describe. Like you said, it's still early on, and obviously I'm going to have to revise my goals for the rest of the year a bit, but I'm just going to live off this for so long right now.

Q. As the week went on, how much did your confidence grow as you're up there at the top of the leaderboard Thursday, Friday, Saturday?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, I was just proving so many things to myself all week. I mean, like I said when I was in here on Friday, to follow up a low round on Thursday with another good round on Friday, I know that's not easy to do. Going out in the last group on a Saturday and still, you know, have a good round, that's not easy to do. To be going out in the lead on a Sunday, have a shaky start, and then come back from that, that's not easy to do. And all of this, I just saw it as achievements and I just kept boosting myself from all these things I was kind of overcoming.

Q. On 18 today, when you went for it, you went for the green rather laying up, were you kind of sending a message there? Was that sort of a no-brainer for you?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: It was a no-brainer. I hit a good drive. Finally we got to play that hole without the wind we had yesterday. I thought it was a good number, and I hit a couple of hybrids on the range this morning. I hit great shots. No, we never even discussed it, it was a go.

And I felt good. I felt like -- I mean, I need to win this. I know Inbee's such a great player, I need to do something extraordinary, and unfortunately, I pulled it. It's not a very easy two-putt from where I was, but, no, I'm happy I took that position, and I've seen plenty of good shots feed down to that pin there, so it was an easy decision for me.

Q. You join a pretty exclusive group of golfers from Sweden to win major championships. Is that something that makes a difference to you?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Absolutely. I mean, my whole career, obviously, I've looked up to all these great Swedish players who have won major championships, and to be able to put myself in that same group, it's very special.

I feel like I've obviously been one of the better players from Sweden, but without that win or anything to my name, I haven't really felt like I belonged to that top group, and now I feel like I do.

Q. It was quiet at times on the weekend out there. What did you expect on a Monday in terms of crowd support, and how much did that sort of help you?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I could not believe the crowds this morning. At 8:00 when we teed off on 10, Danny and I looked at each other and we said this is what the first tee on a major should feel like. Because, obviously, I was off in the last group both Saturday and Sunday, and to be honest it was a bit quiet on the first tee. And last night when a couple of my friends said they were sticking around till Monday, I said, oh, great, at least there would be a few people out there.

And I couldn't even see them because there were so many people. It was incredible. It was way more than I expected, and I really felt their support out there.

I think everyone kind of liked rooting for the underdog, and that's really what I felt like. No, everyone here has really been cheering me on all week, and it's really helped.

Q. How much more meaningful is this having stared down a seven-time major winner? You didn't just win, but you beat a giant in the women's game right now.
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, I don't know. I'm kind of speechless thinking about it. It just proves so much to myself. You know, this game is hard. It's so many times that I doubt myself out here, and sometimes just a little change that's needed, it goes from one week to the next, and you feel like you've got it again. But to be able to do this, wire-to-wire, under the pressure, playing against Inbee, it just proves so many things to myself that I just should never doubt myself again.

Q. With so many players talking about retiring at 30, it's just interesting to hear someone talk about a long-term plan at 31. How long do you think you'll play out here? What is your long-term plan?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I don't know. I don't have a -- I don't have a set number or anything like that. I kind of wanted to last -- end of last year when Daniel came back on my bag, we kind of said let's have the next Olympics, Tokyo 2020, as kind of the next big goal, and said let's just work really hard till then. Let's just give it all of our best, and then reevaluate and see where we're at at that point.

So that's, I mean, because I feel like for so long I felt that I had so much more to give out here and to prove. So I've never really seen that end. I just feel that I keep improving all the time. So because of that, it's nice to just have a goal that's a few years away and just kind of work really hard till then, and then we'll see how we feel at that point. That's kind of still the attitude I have.

But, yeah, I don't have an end number or anything in my mind. But as long as I'm out here and feel that I'm improving, and that's how I've felt for eight years now, I'm just going to keep grinding away.

Q. What does this win do for your confidence for the rest of the year?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: So much. I'm going to be looking at myself as a little bit of a different player. I just proved so much to myself this week, being able to do this. So I'm just going to go out every week, probably, with more confidence. I just feel that I can plan my year a little bit better too, kind of knowing I can kind of pick and choose everything a little bit better. Yeah, I'm just going to feel really good about this for a long time.

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