Dec. 17, 2009
Pernilla Lindberg, a two-time first-team All-American for the Cowgirls, became the latest player from the OSU program to earn her card on the LPGA Tour earlier this month. She recently sat down to discuss the whirlwind that has been her life since joining the professional ranks.
How exciting is it to earn your card and be on the LPGA Tour?
“It is very exciting. It is a dream come true because it is something that I have worked for for a long time. Actually doing it the first time around at Q School is pretty good.”
How nerve racking was it? It has been said that it can be more stressful than a major, is there any truth in that?
“For some people probably. I tried to think about it like everybody there was nervous because it is a big deal. If I could just be a bit less nervous then I would have an advantage. I tried to look at it as any other tournament. I think the first four days I felt really calm out there. On the last day, I could tell it was the last day and a little more nervous. I still wasn’t too bad though. I just tried to play one day at a time and one hole at a time. I didn’t even really look at the scores all week to know where I stood.”
What did you do to try to treat this as another tournament, especially since it was your first go-round?
“I tried to not do anything extra during the week just because it was Q School. I just tried to stick to my routine and what I do every week. I didn’t need to play extra practice rounds or anything like that. On the course, I tried to tell myself it was okay if I hit a bad shot. I tried to have the attitude that it doesn’t matter that much. I will have more chances if it doesn’t work out this week.”
You lost five weeks with a broken finger leading up to the event. How difficult was that to deal with?
“I got to hit balls for two weeks leading up to Q School. That should be plenty of time was what I kept telling myself. I have hit so many balls throughout my life, so you get back into it pretty fast. It wasn’t the preparation I wanted, but my coach back in Sweden told me to think about the fact that I wasn’t going to hit one bad shot during those five weeks. I was just going to think about all of the good ones. That is what I kept telling myself.”
Were there any positives to laying out those five weeks?
“My putting. I spent pretty much those five weeks on the putting green. In golf, it comes down to putting. That gave me some confidence on the greens because I knew I was rolling the ball good. I looked at my putting stats from Q School and they were good, so that is definitely something good that came from it.”
How were you able to make the transition from college to the professional side so easily?
“It has been a long process knowing what I am working towards. When I came over here four and a half years ago I knew I wanted to turn pro when I was done, so I looked at it two or three years ago and tried to imagine myself against the girls that were already out there and see what I had to work on. I tried to match them so I would be prepared the day I turned pro. In college, we played so many tournaments against good teams we would always get good competition out there too.”
Was it a benefit knowing that you had already held your own against these girls?
“For sure. I saw most of this summer and was able to beat them then. Just this summer, playing in the last group on Sunday a few times helped too. Playing the last round at Q School was kind of the same feeling with people chasing you from behind. I think getting that experience back in the summer helped for sure.”
What was the benefit of staying four years at Oklahoma State?
“I think it is nice to know that you have a back up. I have my degree to fall back on because you never know what could happen. You can get injured next week or next year. I think you can play golf for so long, so you don’t have to rush out there. I think that staying in school helps you mature and get all of the experience you can. That was the best thing for me.”
You had a solid ending to an outstanding college career. How gratifying was it to finish on a high note?
“My game felt good, but it wasn’t until nationals that all of the pieces came together. That gave me some confidence for the summer and that kept me going for the rest of the summer.”
What will you remember most about your time at Oklahoma State?
“Nationals my senior year because we finished fourth as a team which was by far our best finish during my four years. Also, being out at Karsten Creek everyday is something that is hard to beat and that is why I am still living in Stillwater and will keep doing that.”