Jenny Lidback, who has never finished better than fifth in an LPGA event, is one round away from winning a major - again.
Lidback, 32, a multilingual Peruvian-born Swede who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., mastered the hard, brown greens at Beaconsfield Golf Club on Saturday for a 4-under-par 68 at the $1 million du Maurier Classic.At 8-under 208, Lidback held a one-shot lead over Sweden's Liselotte Neumann after 54 holes on a sun-baked course whose unpredictable condition has been a nightmare.
Neumann, 29, who began the day with a three-shot lead, saved a round of 72 by making a 25-foot birdie putt on 17 to remain at seven under.
Lidback is hoping history won't repeat itself. At the 1993 LPGA Championship, she held the lead entering the final round only to plummet to 17th.
"Hopefully, I learned something from that and that I'm more mature now," said Lidback, who birdied Nos. 4, 5, 9, 11 and 14 before missing a three-foot par putt on 18. "Hopefully, I won't think too much about leading and just play my game."
Neumann has five victories in seven years on the LPGA Tour, including a major - the 1988 U.S. Open.
"I guess I felt the pressure today," Neumann said. "I was trying to stay within myself, but it was hard watching Jenny making birdies all day. But I'm happy with a 72. It puts me in good position."
Laurie Rinker-Graham had her third consecutive sub-par round, a 70, to hold third place at 212.
Howling winds in Thursday's opening round ballooned the scores of some of the tour's big hitters, notably Laura Davies, Kelly Gibson and Michelle McGann, who all missed the cut.
But some famous names moved into contention Saturday, led by a smart 67 from Betsy King, who qualified for the LPGA Hall of Fame with her 30th career victory this year.
King was at 213 with Jane Geddes, who shot 69, and 1984 champion Juli Inkster, who had 70.
Tammie Green, who won the du Maurier the last time it was held at Beaconsfield in 1989, moved within striking distance at 214 after a 68.
Six years ago, putting conditions on the 6,261-yard course were little better than this time around.