Iceland's first female golfer hits hole in one in opening round of the ANA Inspiration

For a nation of 335,000 people, Iceland is punching well above its weight in the sporting world at the moment....

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 6:36 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2018 6:36 PM

For a nation of 335,000 people, Iceland is punching well above its weight in the sporting world at the moment.

The golden generation of footballers have grabbed the attention of the world over recent years -- becoming the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup in October - but it wasn't Gylfi Sigurdsson who took the 2017 Icelandic Sportsperson of the Year award.

That accolade went to the country's first ever female golfer on the LPGA Tour: Olafia Kristinsdottir, and her impressive form has continued into 2018, hitting her first ever hole in one at the ANA Inspiration on Thursday.

Ranked 188th in the world, Kristinsdottir started the first women's major of the season with modest expectations and reaching the 181-yard 17th hole, she was three over par.

But an astonishing tee-shot dropped on the green 20 yards from the pin, rolling a perfect course into the hole -- an ace in her first ever appearance at the tournament.

The shot earned her two first class tickets to fly anywhere in the world, courtesy of the tournament sponsors ANA, and she had one place in mind -- not too far away on the horizon.

"Since the Olympics are in Tokyo, maybe I'll get to treat myself -- I hope I get to treat myself -- to first class tickets there," she laughed in her post-round interview.

It may be more than two years away, but the 2020 Games would offer Kristinsdottir the chance to record another first for Iceland, who have never won an Olympic gold medal -- in any sport.

READ: Lexi Thompson still haunted by penalty

On the hole in one, the 25-year-old said: "I wasn't even thinking about it going in, I was just watching it and admiring it. It was such a nice shot."

The ace, followed by a birdie on the 18th, saw her finish the round level-par, seven shots off the overnight leader, Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg.

Elsewhere, eyes are on 2014 champion Lexi Thompson, who was cruelly denied victory in last year's tournament after a TV viewer alerted officials to her incorrect placement of the ball, leading to a four-shot penalty before she ultimately lost a playoff to South Korea's So Yeon Rhu.

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