Dame Laura Davies Goes Wire to Wire to Win the Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank
FRENCH LICK, Indiana – There’s no doubt who the best senior woman golfer was in this first historic first year. England’s Dame Laura Davies won both the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and the Senior LPGA Championship convincingly.
Davies was as dominant in the Senior LPGA as she was in the Open, played in July at Chicago Golf Club. Davies won that one by a whopping 10 strokes. She was a wire to wire winner in the Senior LPGA, which concluded on Wednesday on the Pete Dye Course here. “It was a real victory for me,” said Davies, who won her 87th tournament world-wide with an 8-under-par 208 score for the 54 holes. “I played OK here before but never strung three rounds together.”
Davies was third in the first major tournament for senior women professional last year when another England golfer, Trish Johnson, won the title. Davies owned the next two majors for that segment of players this year, but Wednesday’s win wasn’t as easy as her victory in Chicago.
“I had a five-shot lead (going into the last round) there”’ said Davies. “Here I started with a three-shot lead, then it was a no-shot lead. On this course you can’t take anything for granted.”
Davies made bogey on the first hole, then Sweden’s Helen Alfredsson posted four birdies in her first eight holes and Italy’s Silvia Cavalleri, paired with Davies, got into the mix as well. The three were tied at 5-under-par six holes into the round
While temperatures climbed over 60 degrees for the first time this week, the winds kicked up to over 20 miles per hour. That made scoring difficult for everyone, and Davies had only two serious challengers. She passed Cavalleri before the first nine was done and was in command the rest of the way after Alfredsson made double bogey at No. 11.
“I made a mistake (hitting a ball into a bunker and leaving one recovery shot in the sand) and I couldn’t recover,’’ said Alfredsson. “You feel horrible, but it was a joy to be here.”
No doubt Davies’ tournament schedule paid off. Alfreddson had played in only two tournaments this year, and none since the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. Davies is among the busiest players tournament-wise in the senior ranks. She plays on the LPGA, European and Legends tours.
“Not taking anything away from Laura, she’s an amazing golfer,” said Alfredsson, “but it’s different for players who are playing tournaments regularly. We all love to play, but you don’t know how you’ll react (if you aren’t competing regularly).”
NOTES: Riley Children’s Hospital, the tournament’s charitable beneficiary, sends many of its young patients to the event each year but on Wednesday Genevieve Bennett Slater of Sullivan, Ind., was also on hand to introduce the players at the first tee. Now 91 years old, she was a Riley patient between the ages of 5 and 16 when she had multiple surgeries to avert a birth defect.
Sherri Turner was inducted into The Legends Hall of Fame at a pre-tournament banquet. On Wednesday she worked as a caddie for Martha Nause.
Defending champion Trish Johnson posted her third straight 73 and finished sixth. Juli Inkster, runner-up to Davies in the Senior Open, bounced back from a second-round 80 to shoot 73 and finish in a tie for12th.
Jamie Fischer, the teaching professional at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, shot 76 and was at 13-over-par 229, good for a tie for 24th in the 80-player field. Berwyn’s Nicole Jeray, who is on the teaching staff at Mistwood in Romeoville, was three shots behind Fischer overall but finishing strong. She rolled in a putt from off the green in concluding her round with back-to-back birdies.
IN HER WORDS – 2018 CHAMPION LAURA DAVIES
On the conditions during the final round:
“The wind made a difference, and it was still cold. It was still tough, I think 2-under today was a pretty good round.”
On the birdie on 18:
“I hit a really good 2-iron in there, I thought I just about hit the green but had to get it up and down. But when you’ve got a three-shot lead those putts tend to go in, if I had to hole that to win it might not have gone in. So, that was a little bonus.”
Does winning on the Pete Dye Course make this more special:
“It really does. You feel like you really controlled the ball. There’s some shots out there, on 16 I nearly hit a horrible 7-iron into the water, but again I got lucky today when I really needed to on 11 and 16 when I didn’t hit great shots. It’s the sort of course where you’ve got to be careful, but you’ve got to be brave as well. Because you’ll make bogeys if you’re trying to play it safe.”
Laura Davies (Coventry, England) (1st, -8)
- Member of the World Golf Hall of Fame (class of 2015)
- This is Davies 86th professional win worldwide
- Has 20 career LPGA wins, including four major championships
- Has 45 career wins on the Ladies European Tour
- Won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open conducted by the USGA in July
- Finished T3 at the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in 2017
- Davies is still active on the LPGA Tour, with seven made cuts in 15 starts during the 2018 season including a runner-up finish at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in March
- On the Legends Tour in 2018, Davies teamed up with Trish Johnson to win the BJ’s Charity Championship
Helen Alfredsson (Goteborg, Sweden) (T2, -4)
- Alfredsson is a seven-time LPGA Tour winner with one major championship title
- She has 11 career wins on the Ladies European Tour
- McBride was a member of eight Solheim Cups for Team Europe and captained the team in 2007
- Finished T3 at the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in 2017
- Finished T6 at the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open conducted by the USGA in July
- Played on the LPGA Tour from 1992-2013
Silvia Cavalleri (Milano, Italy) (T2, -4)
- Has one win on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tour
- Cavalleri is the only player from Italy to win on the LPGA Tour
- Played on the LPGA Tour from 1999-2014
- Won the 1997 U.S. Women’s Amateur
- Cavalleri turned 46 on Oct. 10, 2018 and this is her first year eligible to compete in the senior women’s major championship
- Cavalleri is still active on the Symetra Tour, in 2018 she made nine starts with two top-five finishes
Michele Redman (Minneapolis, Minn.) (4th, -1)
- Redman is in her eighth season as the women’s golf coach at the University of Minnesota
- She played on the LPGA Tour from 1992-2011 with two wins
- Was a four-time member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team
- Redman was a four-time All-American at Indiana University and is a member of the IU Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame
- Finished T19 at the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open conducted by the USGA in July
- Was the runner-up at the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in 2017
- Redman has two victories on the Legends Tour: 2011 Legends Tour Open Championship and 2013 Walgreens Charity Classic
Brandie Burton (La Verne, Calif.) (5th, +1)
- Won five LPGA titles, including two major championships
- Finished T39 at the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in 2017
- Was a five-time member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team (1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000)
- Burton was the 1989 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion
- Burton was the LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1991
- Burton is the assistant softball coach at Aquinas High School in San Bernardino, Calif.
Tournament: @FLR_SeniorLPGA, @FL_Resort, @visitfrenchlick, #SeniorLPGA
LPGA: @LPGA (Facebook and Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
INAUGURAL EVENT TOP FIVE
1st, Trish Johnson, 67-72-73—212 (-4)
2nd, Michele Redman, 73-69-73—215 (-1)
T3, Laura Davies,79-70-68—217 (+1)
T3, Helen Alfredsson, 78-70-69—217 (+1)
T3, Wendy Doolan ,75-71-71-217 (+1)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 66, Brandie Burton, 2018, second round
36 holes: 138, Laura Davies, 2018
54 holes: 208, Laura Davies, 2018
The tournament again benefited the Riley Children’s Foundation, which is connected to Riley Children’s Hospital, the premier children’s hospital in the region. To date the event has raised more than $830,000 for the Riley Children’s Foundation, including $200,000 in 2018.
Defending champion Trish Johnson finished solo sixth at 3-over par.
At the 2017 Senior LPGA Championship, champion Trish Johnson and runner-up Michele Redman were the only players even par or better. In 2018, four players were even par or better. Laura Davies was the only player in the field with three under-par rounds.
- Next up for senior women’s majors will be the second U.S. Senior Women’s Open
via LPGA and Kevin Frisch.