There's something about these Swedish women and major championships.
Jenny Lidback, who holds dual Swedish and Peruvian citizenship, became the second Swede this year and the fourth overall to make a major championship her first victory on the LPGA tour.Lidback matched par 72 on Sunday in holding off Sweden's Liselotte Neumann by a stroke in the du Maurier Classic, the last of the four majors on the women's tour. She completed four trips around the 6,261-yard Beaconsfield Golf Club course at 8-under 280.
Neumann was the first of the Swedes to become a first-time winner in a major by taking the 1988 U.S. Open. Helen Alfredsson made her first victory the 1993 Dinah Shore and, earlier this summer, Annika Sorenstam won the U.S. Open.
Lidback, whose best previous finish in an LPGA event was fifth, was born in Lima, Peru to a Swedish father and Italian mother and has lived in the United States since 1976.
She had a chance to make a major her first victory in 1993, when she led the LPGA Championship after three rounds before faltering. Another collapse loomed when she began Sunday's round with a three-putt bogey that allowed Neumann to tie for the lead.
"I had flashbacks," Lidback said. "I said: `Don't let this happen again.' It was a wake-up call."
It worked. She birdied the third hole to retake the lead, chipping in from 10 yards in front of the green, and never let go.
"It's almost like being in shock," said Lidback, who earned a $150,000 share of the $1 million purse as well as a five-year exemption from qualifying.
"I'm all wobbly," she said. "I thought my legs would give out on the last hole."
Neumann, who has won four other tournaments since breaking through in the 1988 Open, applauded the winner's grit.
"I thought she'd get nervous because she's never won, but she kept her composure to the end," Neumann said. "She played really well."
Juli Inkster, with a closing 70, was three strokes back at the finish. Tammie Green also shot 70 and was at 284. Both are former du Maurier winners.
Jane Geddes and Betsy King were at 285.
A turning point came at the 192-yard, par-3 13th when Lidback missed a 3-footer for bogey but Neumann failed to sink a 5-footer for par that would have tied it.
On the 376-yard, par-4 14th, Neumann missed a birdie putt and Lidback made a long par putt.
"That was the chance for me to turn it around," Neumann said.
Lidback earned more at Beaconsfield than she had in any previous year and she more than doubled her earnings for this year to $222,961.
"That's wonderful," she said. "It's great to have a victory and for it to be at a major is a bonus.
"No one can ever take that away from me. It will help the next time I'm in contention. I'll know I've done it and I can do it again."
Lidback's Swedish side came to the fore when she said her first purchase would be a car for her father. "I know he wants a Volvo," she said.