The genesis of the turnaround can be traced to last year's du Maurier. Neumann lost by a stroke to Jenny Lidback, and the disappointment was palpable. Three months later she won the Australian Women's Open, defeating Sorenstam and Jane Geddes in a playoff. Although it was Neumann's second victory of the year, neither came in the U.S. She finished a disappointing 16th on the LPGA money list, earning $200,000 less than in 1994.
"She wins a lot of tournaments," Davies says. "She hasn't won that many on the LPGA, but she's won around the world and no matter where you win a tournament, you've had a great week. I'd expect more and more from her. She has no weaknesses, absolutely none at all."
Well, Neumann might have one. She doesn't hit her long irons high enough to hold many greens, so she has added a seven-and a nine-wood to her bag. Could Lotta and her Divine Nine be showing up soon in commercials next to Annika and her Big Bertha driver? That's not the point, she insists.
"I'm just trying to make the game easier," Neumann says, and after last week's performance there is little doubt that she has succeeded.