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September 11, 2018

Pernilla Lindberg

Evian-les-Bains, France

THE MODERATOR: We'll welcome into the media center your 2018 ANA Inspiration champion, Pernilla Lindberg.


PERNILLA LINDBERG: Thanks for having me.

THE MODERATOR: She's your Rolex Rankings No. 39 player in the world and became a first-time major champion earlier this week year.

Pernilla, what is it like to be back here in France?

PERNILLA LINDBERG: Amazing being back here when the weather is showing us its best side. Unfortunately haven't been as lucky the last few years, so crossing our fingers it'll stay like this.

But it's just so peaceful being here in Evian when the weather is this nice. Just looking out over the lake just gives you good feelings. Yeah, no need to carry all that rain gear and feel cold out there so far, so it feels good.

THE MODERATOR: You played in this tournament every year that it's been a major championship. You also the year the year when it was still the Evian Masters. What do you like about playing this golf course?

PERNILLA LINDBERG: It's a challenge. It's a major championship now. You know, the course has some really tough par 4s out there, some scorable par-5s, and it's a good mix of holes. That's what I would say.

You really need to have all parts of your game ready to go. You need to strike the ball well. Obviously you need to putt well. You need to do that everywhere to play good golf.

But short game is going to be tested, so that's why I think it's a good major championship.

THE MODERATOR: And being a major champion now, playing on a tournament-to-tournament basis has to be different. How different is it for you playing specifically in majors now that you have won one?

PERNILLA LINDBERG: Obviously I come into them with more confidence than before because I know that I have won one. So I've just proven to myself and everyone else that I can win one of these.

But besides that -- so, I mean, that's the positive. Otherwise it's been a little busier this year at the is majors. You know, just more attention in general, which I've been enjoying, but it's for sure a little different. Have to be a little bit more disciplined with planning my time to make sure I get all the press in that I need.

But, no, I just take all the positives with me, which is, yeah, just coming into them with a lot more confidence.

THE MODERATOR: Last year we saw fellow Swedish player, Anna Nordqvist, win this championship. For you, this major championship being in Europe - obviously you have the RICOH Women's British Open as well -- what would that be like to win a major championship on European soil?

PERNILLA LINDBERG: I mean, obviously would be very excited to win any other major besides my ANA. But being on European soil I guess would feel like you're a little closer to your home fans. With time difference, everyone in Sweden wouldn't have to sit up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning to watch my grind out.

So that makes it a little more special, just a little closer to home and a little easier for family to get here, too. Hopefully few more Swedish fans out there in general.



THE MODERATOR: We'll especially open up for questions.

Q. We talked two months after your victory, and at that time you hadn't said no to anybody for anything. We're six months in now. How have you adjusted your schedules, and how has life changed?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Like I said before it's just been a lot busier in general. I've still been embracing it, but I have to say I felt more tired in general because it's just been busier.

But one thing that I love though is once I get out on the golf course it's still just me playing golf out there. No one can kind of drag me in other directions because it's just me trying to perform. That's what I love doing, so that's still something I still love, getting out there once we tee off on Thursday.

But besides that, yeah, it's just been a lot busier. I still wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm really loving the opportunities that I get and still trying to say yes to most things but still making sure that I get the practice and rest in that I need as well.

So like I said, it's just been a little bit more of a challenge to just kind of try to schedule everything in and make sure I'm still rested and ready to go when Thursday comes around.

Q. What's been the biggest surprise in the last six months?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Probably the amount of people, general fans, that now know who I am. They all want to share their story about where they were when they were watching me win. That's probably been the biggest surprise, just having that recognition.

I was checking in at LAX and the curbside man said, Oh, you're the girl who won ANA. That was obviously kind of a rare exception, but still, to have people even outside of the golf course recognize me. I've had few people come up in airports and things like that, and that's just never been a part of my life before.

Q. Solheim Cup is a year away now almost exactly. How much have you been thinking about that post a major win?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Oh, a lot. Still, going into this season I kind of had two -- I mean, I had a lot of goals, but two of the major goals that really keep me motivated is next year's Solheim Cup and the Olympics in the following year. Those are the two things that make me go out there and work hard every day.

Obviously after a win it's been more brought to my attention. I've been very close to be on the team the last few times but not played well enough down the stretch. I've learned a lot from that.

I just know I'm putting myself in a better position now after a win. It's still a big goal, but still one year to go. Just need to keep working hard and see what happens.

Q. Sure, or you can look at what Sergio, similar timing to him before he won -- when he won the Masters, similar time before the Ryder Cup is played. I mean, that must, you know, be a great feeling, to know that you have a major tournament like that behind you as a way of saying to Catriona, I'm ready.
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Absolutely. I mean, I think anyone who watched me grind it out there on Sunday, I mean, hopefully they saw what a grinder and what a fighter I am. Hopefully I can get to show that during match play next year.

Like I said, hopefully I want to play my way on the team and not have to rely on a pick. I think if it comes down to a pick you can't really expect anything.

Hopefully I can just take care of business myself.

Q. So you said about of your family being here.

Q. So your mum and dad? I mean, you couldn't help but get in the emotion of them watching you win that that major. So they're here as well?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Of course. Yeah, they're flying in tomorrow. They'll be here cheering me on. You know, I don't think I can even understand the emotions I must have put them through with that win.

I mean, despite that or because of that, they made it to U.S. Open, came to British Open as well. They made it back to the next few majors as well.

Q. First and foremost we have a major championship in your sights this week. You are also one of six players in the hunt for the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. How cool is it to be part of that equation, and how special is it for you as a Sweden to be gunning for that accolade?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Oh, it's obviously a really cool award because it just awards the best performance in our biggest events. So to even have my name on that list, it's obviously a bigger goal than I probably had set for myself this year.

Obviously I know I have to go out and do one more spectacular week this week to get that award. But, no, it gives me a special kind of boost just knowing that I'm in the running for it.

Yeah, and exactly, I mean, with Annika's name on there, any time you can put your name kind of next to Annika's in any kind of way in the golf world I think you have done something good. (Laughter.)

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions from you guys?

Speaking back to international competition and Solheim Cup, just about a month away from the UL International Crown in Korea. Have you thought about what that's going to be like? You played in 2014 so you kind of got a little taste of it.

PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, I mean, that was another goal for this year, to make sure that Sweden would be back in there and that I would get to represent Sweden.

Like you said, I played in 2014, but I'm not sure any of us can probably really imagine or prepare what it's going to be like actually playing in Korea. I'm so excited, because I know how much they love their women's golf. The crowds out there are going to be crazy.

I talked to I think it was Ariya a few weeks ago when I played with her. We were both joking say, Oh, thank God we're not in the same pool as Korean so we don't have to worry about the crowds the first few days at least.

No, I know just going over there to play in our Hana Bank every year, I usually describe to people that when we show many there they don't just treat us like golf stars. They actually treat us like superstars. That's just how much they love the women's game.

So show up there for an international team event with only 32 players I know we're going to be so well looked after. Really looking forward to.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you is much for your time. And good luck this week.


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