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Ingrid Lindblad Wins the ANNIKA Award for Top Player of 2023-24 Season

Ingrid Lindblad Wins the ANNIKA Award for Top Player of 2023-24 Season

CARLSBAD, California – World No. 1 amateur Ingrid Lindblad of LSU was named the winner of the 2024 ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel and announced on Tuesday morning after a nation-wide vote of women’s college golfers, coaches and golf media.

Created in 2014, the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel is annually given to the top female Division I collegiate golfer. Named for and presented by Annika Sorenstam, the award was created in partnership with the Haskins Commission to acknowledge the top female golfer at the end of the season, to match the Haskins Award presented by Stifel which acknowledges the top male Division I collegiate golfer.

Sorenstam was on hand to present the award to Lindblad in ceremonies at the OMNI La Costa.

“First of all, I’m super excited and happy for Ingrid,” said Sorenstam during the presentation. “… she’s gone that path and it’s been exciting for us to follow that journey to see how you’ve grown as a player and person. You have some great things coming up, like turning pro at some point. I’m very happy for you and what you’ve done on the course and also what you stand for as a character amongst your peers. I’m so happy for you and to see a Swede on here with some other wonderful names is great. All the players that have won have gone on to do some great things, so I see the same thing for Ingrid.”

Lindblad had another strong season entering the NCAA Championships with four victories including three consecutive rounds of 68 to win the NCAA Bryan Regional. She won 15 times individually in her five college years at LSU, an SEC record, topping the old mark of 13 set by Stacy Lewis (2005-08).

She averaged just over 68 strokes per round entering the championships and had been ranked as the top amateur for almost a full calendar year. She will play next week in the United States Women’s Open at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club with an exemption for being given the Mark McCormack Medal for top world amateur by the USGA and R&A.

Over five years, she helped get LSU to four NCAA Championships and is one of just six players to have appeared at four championships for the Tigers. She was part of the 2022 SEC Championship team that won the school’s first league title in 30 years and that same event, made a 38-foot eagle putt on the 54th hole to win the individual title.

“I could not be prouder and happier to have Ingrid win the ANNIKA Award,” said LSU Golf Coach Garrett Runion. “She finally was able to put her name on that trophy with the other greats who have won it. This was one of the main reasons she wanted to come back, it was a motivating factor to win this one. There’s extra sentimental and special value with Annika (Sorenstam) being from her home country of Sweden. It’s extremely well deserving. I know that she was proud and very excited when she got the news, and I can’t wait to see what her future holds.”

Lindblad and her LSU Tigers were taking part in the match play quarterfinals when the award was announced as part of the Golf Channel coverage.

“I’m so happy. I feel like I’ve worked hard for this, and this was one of the reasons I came back for my fifth year,” Lindblad said. “It’s a great way to close out my college career and I’m so grateful.”

Of her journey from Sweden to this award, Lindblad said, “I think the first time I played one of Annika’s events was in 2014 when I played the junior amateur for the ANNIKA Invitational. The next year I played the ANNIKA Cup and the European and USA events, then a few years ago I played the intercollegiate. I’ve taken the ANNIKA journey.”

The ANNIKA Award itself is unique in its design. It is comprised of two primary components: a silver pedestal, which will display a commemorative plaque listing each yearly winner; and a hand-crafted, glass presentation trophy presented to the winner, with a copy given to the player’s College or University.

The blue presentation piece seeks to represent an ideal golf swing. Every glass piece is hand-crafted by female artist, Sally Denham. As every golf swing is different, so too are the individual glass sculptures. While similar in size and pattern, each exhibits subtle differences that make every trophy, like every golfer, unique.

The color pattern, from light on the back swing, darker through the bottom arc of the power stroke, then brightening at the follow through, demonstrating how every well-executed golf swing, all the hours on the practice range, all the sacrifice, culminates at the moment of impact.

Only three complete versions of the trophy have been produced. One will be on permanent display with the ANNIKA Foundation in Orlando. A second will be on permanent display at the Country Club of Columbus, next to the Haskins Award, an award given annually to the top collegiate male golfer. A third version will be used for travel and display.

A unique aspect of the ANNIKA presentation is the addition of a special concealed container in the base of the pedestal. Annual winners will be invited to share their reflections on winning the trophy on cards that will be held in the base of the trophy. On the 25th anniversary of the award, the base and the cards within will be opened and shared with the public at a special celebration.

As part of the Award, Lindblad, who is expected to turn pro after the U.S. Women’s Open will receive an exemption into the Amundi Evian Championship in July in France.