In the 75th playing of the U.S. Open, LSU sophomore Ingrid Lindblad showcased her talents in an field full of the best players the LPGA has to offer. Lindblad finished in the top-five for lowest scoring amateur- there were 24 amateur's- and tied for 30th amongst the entire field.
The US Open was held at the Champions Club in Houston, Texas, from Thursday through Monday.
The last time the purple and gold was represented by an amateur golfer in a major golf event was by Meredith Duncan in 2002. In 2020, all oddities aside, LSU was represented by three women this weekend. Sophomore Lindblad had veteran tour experience to learn from Madelene Sagstorm ‘15 and Ernest Austin ‘12.
Lindblad played the first 2 rounds phenomenally, posting a 1-under-par score placing her in the top-10 entering the weekend.
Lindblad had done something marvelous: She had made the cut at an major event, as an amateur. To quantify this achievement, I will poorly compare it to first being given the privilege of driving. You are 15 years old, entering your junior year of high-school and your parents determine you are mature enough to drive by yourself. Soon you are cruising down highways, branching out within social groups and navigating a new world for you to make sense of. For Lindblad, she is taking driving lessons and working towards autonomy. She is young, full of potential and has presented outstanding results. Now, Lindblad must gain comfortability behind the driver seat by herself.
Lindblad placed tied for 30th at the US Open, 1 of the 4 major golf events of the year. She opened the tournament with a perfect even par front nine, and would post three birdies on the back, bogeying 11 and 15 and double bogeying 14. Finishing round 1 at 1-over. At this point -- although it was early and not of scores were reported -- Lindblad was a household name on TV coverage as she was atop of the leaderboard.
The question after doing something marvelous: Can it be repeated? Lindblad answered, yes, but it can be better. Her second round score of one-under-par showed the world why she is the No. 2 ranked amateur in the world.
Lindblad carded five birdies in Friday’s round and one triple bogey on the 14th hole, leading to a 2-under score. At this point Lindblad is 1-under, in the top-20 and did not have to fret about missing the cut.
Lindblad teed up on Saturday calmly, as she has participated in this kind of events before. Prior to the start of the tournament Head Coach Garrett Runion said, "This is Ingrid's second major championship, and unlike the British Open, she has had plenty of time to prepare.”
Lindblad, or “Iggy” as her teammates call her on social media sites and in the locker room, posted a score of 3-over on her third round, making her 2-over for the tournament. Needing a miracle to chase the lead on Sunday, Iggy got maybe what she had been praying for, a day suspension due to inclement weather. At the time the suspension announcement was made Lindblad was already on the course and through seven holes, leaving her 11 holes for Monday.
After the rain had washed away any troubles from previous days and the cold front had come in, play resumed on Monday. For Lindblad, playing conditions that day should’ve lead to a Jordan game 6 performance. Lindblad is from Sweden where she is accustomed to playing in unfavorable cold and windy conditions. However, blame it on young jitters, or claim the rest of the field was lucky to have not faced the best of Iggy, she shot a six-over, 78, finishing tied for 30th.
Although, Iggy may not have not returned to the red stick with any hardware, she competed at the highest level her sport has to offer and showed that she can challenge the best in the world. She is currently on the short-list for the ANNIKA Award; presented to the best collegiate female golfer, for this year's season. If the ANNIKA Award selection committee resembles that of an admission committee at a post graduate school, Lindblad should be at the top of everyone's list. She has dominated the field in her collegiate tournaments this fall, posting two second place finishes and a tied for seventh finish.
As Lindblad returns to Baton Rouge with a tremendous experience under her belt, LSU directors will continue to acknowledge the risk of returning to competition in the spring amid the pandemic. As of now, the SEC and LSU are working to make progress finalizing the spring schedule.