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ANWA gives LSU golf star Ingrid Lindblad final test before turning pro

ANWA gives LSU golf star Ingrid Lindblad final test before turning pro

As the world’s top-ranked amateur, Ingrid Lindblad has faced hundreds of daunting opening tee shots in her life. There’s one that paints a canvas in her memory.

It vividly comes to life inside Lindblad’s head. It’s intimidating and historic, demanding yet memorable. Millions have observed it, many even mimicking it in their own head, but few have attempted it. It’s one Lindblad, 23, replays over and over again.

After winning by four shots at the second stage of LPGA Q-School in November, Lindblad had every reason to forgo the spring semester of her final collegiate season and turn professional. Instead, she remained loyal to LSU, where she’s a graduate student.

She has unfinished business. She wants to win another SEC Championship. She wants to win a national title.

Bigger than all, she wants one closing stab to conquer the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. And that starts with the opening tee shot on the par-4 first, named Tea Olive.

“You’ve got that bunker right, and then if you’re a drawer and can’t carry that bunker, you have a hard time finding the fairway,” Lindblad said. “You want to hit a fade off the tee. Being the first hole, you want to get off to a good start.”

The opening shot is what first comes to mind when Lindblad thinks about Augusta National. It’s the place where she was the most nervous before hitting a shot in her career. It’s also a shot she has faced twice, overcoming the hole both times en route to top-three finishes.

Another shot at ANWA after two top-three finishes

Lindblad’s record at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur is stellar. In 2021, she finished T-3 and a shot out of a playoff. The next year, she shot 68 in the final round with two eagles to finish T-2 and a shot behind the winner.

Last year was an anomaly, as she missed the 36-hole cut and didn’t get to head to Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday and hit that first tee shot. It has been on her mind ever since.

With the inaugural ANWA debuting in 2019, the first two rounds take place at Champions Retreat Golf Club, nestled 15 miles up the road in Evans, Georgia. Only the top-30 players after 36 holes get to play the final round at Augusta National.

That’s why missing the cut in 2023 laid the groundwork for her to remain an amateur.

Lindblad has been one of the best college golfers in the country since she stepped on campus in Baton Rouge. She is a four-time first-team All-American, being named a finalist for the Annika…


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