Pernilla Lindberg from Sweden fired a bogey-free 67 in the second round of the ANA Inspiration on Friday to tie with South Korean Sung Hyun Park on 12-under-par 132 and set a new 36-hole scoring record. The pair lowered by one the record set by Mexican Lorena Ochoa in 2006 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.
Playing in the desert heat, with temperatures at 35C, Park fired a 64 (the lowest 18 holes was 62, by Ochoa). English pair Jodi Ewart Shadoff (67) and Charley Hull (68) ended the morning five strokes back on seven-under-par alongside Amy Olson from the United States of America.
Lindberg birdied the sixth, seventh, ninth, 13th and 14th holes for her career-best 36-hole total and is aiming for her first win on tour.
The 31-year-old from Bollnas explained that a weekend of coaching after she missed the cut in last week’s Kia Classic is paying dividends. “I hadn’t seen him for seven weeks and I had gotten a little off in my set-up which led to me getting a better plane in my swing. I didn’t put myself in trouble and my short game has been great so that’s why I’m bogey-free through 36 holes.”
Lindberg started the day with a one stroke advantage, but she didn’t let the pressure of leading a Major championship affect her. A ninth-year member of the Ladies European Tour, she said that all the experience she has gained until this point has helped her to deal with it.
“I felt better today than yesterday. On the first day of a Major you are going to feel some nerves. I slept well last night and had a good dinner with my family, ate well, had a cup of tea and watched a TV show, which is what most nights look like. If anything, I just stayed off my phone a bit more,” she said.
After making par saves on three and four, she holed from off the fringe on the sixth and made another birdie from close range on the seventh. After another birdie chance on the eighth, she holed from 15 feet on the ninth. “Holes 13 and 14 were tap ins and tap ins during a Major week are always welcome!” she said.
Crediting her parents are her biggest inspiration, her father, Jan, who has been the president of her home club, Bollnas, for 40 years and her mother, Gunilla, were beside the 18th green as she signed off with a par, before giving her fiancé and caddie Daniel Taylor a kiss on the bridge over Poppie’s Pond.
Taylor, a former college golfer from Woburn, England, is back on the bag in 2018 after a year of caddying for other players and Lindberg is grateful.
She said: “Daniel caddied for five years and we took a break last year when he caddied for a couple of other players and it was good for both of us, but I missed him being on the bag and I trust him so much. I begged him to come back this year and we both learned a lot last year, but I am very happy to have him back.”