Johnson wins first Senior LPGA Championship

Trish Johnson, England

Trish Johnson from England completed a wire-to-wire victory at the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank on Wednesday on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.

The 51-year-old Bristol golfer turned in a final-round 73 to finish at four under 212 for the 54-hole event, three shots clear of American Michele Redman.

“I’m often asked what my favourite course in the world is and I always say St. Andrews, but I think this place has taken over,” said Johnson, who has now won twice on the course. “It feels fantastic, this is the reason you play golf to try and win something like this. It is going to be a very, very fun evening.”

Johnson posted rounds of 67, 72 and 73 to win the first place check of $90,000, while Redman collected the second place payday of $54,397.

“I hit my driver so well all week,” said Johnson when asked about the keys to victory. “I was quite long so I was hitting a lot of short irons in. Some of these greens are pretty wicked so if you have short clubs in that is a major advantage.”

World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies finished in a tie for third with a final-round 68 alongside Wendy Doolan and Helen Alfredsson. South Africa’s three-time Major champion Sally Little carded rounds of 86, 88 and 84 for an aggregate total of 258.

“The French Lick Resort has the same type of feeling as St. Andrews,” said Johnson. “When I got to St. Andrews I just love it and the first time I came here I sat on top of the road and thought, ‘wow, this is special’. The people here are very special, they are so welcoming. It is like one happy family.”

While Johnson didn’t want to put herself into the conversation of “legends” at the inaugural event, she said this week was major for players of her generation.

“Hopefully, this is the first of many,” said Johnson, who won three times on the LPGA. “This is so well deserved because all those girls playing for $2 million on the LPGA right now is because of these people here. It’s the same as the guys playing for the amount of money because of Tiger. This is huge and very special.”

The tournament presented a check for $200,000 to Riley Children’s Foundation. In five years, the tournament at the Pete Dye Course has now raised $700,000 for the Riley Children’s Foundation.

PHOTO – Trish Johnson; courtesy of Rick Sharp / LPGA Tour.

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