Golf: Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg announced for New Zealand Open in Queenstown

Pernilla Lindberg - Swedish golfer
Pernilla Lindberg - Swedish golfer Photo credit: Getty

Swedish golfer Pernilla Lindberg needed no encouragement to return to Queenstown for the New Zealand Open.

Lindberg, a one-time Major winner, will tee it up with the men, when the tournament gets underway at The Hills and Millbrook Resort later this month. 

The 2018 ANA Inspiration champion fell in love with New Zealand a year ago, but Queenstown holds the most special place in her heart.

The 33-year-old married husband Daniel Taylor in the city, so the chance to return and play golf was an easy decision. 

"New Zealand is one of my favourite places in the world, and somewhere that is now very special to Daniel and myself," Lindberg said. 

"The opportunity to celebrate our first anniversary and combine it with a professional golf event was just too good to miss."

Lindberg has been a regular on the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour for more than a decade, after a stellar college career at Oklahoma State University.

She will be the first female professional to compete in the New Zealand Open.

"We live in an age that is now more open than ever to new ideas and innovation," said tournament director Michael Glading. 

"The fact that Pernilla is happy to come and compete in what is traditionally a men’s event makes this a very special addition to the tournament.

"We will pair her with All Black Beauden Barrett in the pro-am, which will give the spectators something quite special and unique," said Glading.

Said Barret: "I'm really looking forward to the tournament and it’s great to be paired with a player of Pernilla’s ability.

"I'm sure it’ll be good fun and I hope I can learn a few things from her on the course."

Lindberg has been one of the most consistent players on the LPGA, amassing more than NZ$4 million in prize money to date, with highlights that include representing Sweden at the Rio Olympics and the ANA Inspiration victory in California.