Swedes hoping to bank on match-play experience at International Crown

Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

June 13 2014, Neal Reid

There was little doubt Caroline Hedwall was Team Europe’s Most Valuable Player at last year’s Solheim Cup, where the Europeans crushed the United States Team on its home soil.

The Swede became the first player in that event’s history to go 5-0 during the three days of competition, and she’ll be part of Sweden’s squad at the International Crown, July 24-27, in Owings Mills, Md. But she’s not even the hottest player on Team Sweden.

That moniker belongs to Anna Nordqvist, who has parlayed a host of changes to her game into a monster season. She won two of the Tour’s first six events this season – the Honda LPGA Thailand in February and the Kia Classic in March – and has used three other top-10s to stand third on the LPGA money list with $763,784.

That six-figure total has pushed Nordqvist’s career earnings past the $4 million mark and has her sitting ninth in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings. The four-time LPGA champion now has 35 top-10s since joining the Tour in 2009 and is no stranger to match play golf.

Nordqvist has been part of Team Europe in 2009, 2011 and 2013, building a 6-3-1 record during that time. That’s nearly as good as Hedwall’s 7-1-1 career Solheim Cup record, and with those two players leading the way, the Swedes could turn some heads in July.

Not only is Hedwall a match-play star, but she has earned more than $1.1 million since joining the Tour in 2011. The former Oklahoma State University star has eight career top-10s and had a breakout season last year, finishing 14th on the money list with $763,104.

A fellow Oklahoma State Cowboy, Pernilla Lindberg will join Hedwall and Nordqvist as part of Team Sweden this summer. Lindberg, who has played full-time on the LPGA the last two seasons, was a two-time First-Team All-American in college and won the 2008 Amateur World Championship.

Lindberg has yet to qualify for a Solheim Cup, but was a member of the Swedish National Team that won the European Ladies Team Championship in 2006 and 2008. That experience should help her in Maryland.

Mikaela Parmlid, the 2003 NCAA Champion, rounds out the Swedish squad. The 33-year-old veteran earned her spot on the team by amassing seven top-10 finishes on the Ladies European Tour the last two seasons, and she is no stranger to representing her country.

Parmlid, who won five collegiate events while at the University of Southern California, is a nine-time Swedish National Team member. She will no doubt draw on that experience when she tees it up at the International Crown.

They’re blonde, they’re talented and they just could be good enough to challenge for a spot in the semifinals in Maryland. International Crown fans will find out how sweet the sixth-seeded Swedes will be when they face No. 3 Japan on Thursday, No. 2 South Korea on Friday and seventh-ranked Chinese Taipei on Saturday.

This is the third of eight looks at the teams set to compete in the inaugural International Crown, July 24-27, at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. LPGA.com will continue to roll out these features every Friday leading up to the four-day event, so stay tuned for more in-depth descriptions of each four-member team.

Topics: International Crown

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