DAME LAURA DAVIES MAINTAINS LEAD AT THE SENIOR LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP
The sun was shining in French Lick, Ind., the wind calmed down and the temperatures warmed up on Tuesday for the second round of the Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank. While the conditions changed, the top of the leaderboard remained the same with Dame Laura Davies heading into the final round with a two-stroke lead over major champion Brandie Burton at 6-under par.
Davies rebounded on Tuesday after two bogeys in her first four holes to re-claim and extend her lead with a new tournament record 6-under par 138 for the senior women’s major. Just a few months ago, Davies reigned supreme at the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open and she said she’d love to have a good showing on Wednesday and finally conquer the Pete Dye Course.
“It would be fantastic,” Davies said. “You come over here all the way from England, and you want to do well. So, to be in this position after two days is great, it makes it worth-while. The way we get treated here at French Lick is amazing. This course doesn’t suit my eye at all, it’s a fantastic golf course, but not a great one for me so if I can get over the demons tomorrow and have a good round – win or lose – just have another really good round. I’ve never shot three rounds under par around here, so it would be huge for me tomorrow to do that.”
With a record of her own, five-time LPGA winner Burton shot up the leaderboard on Tuesday. Burton’s bogey-free 6-under par round of 66, bests the previous 18-hole tournament record set by 2017 champion Trish Johnson in the first round by one stroke.
Burton is looking forward to a chance to improve upon on a T39 finish at the inaugural event in 2017.
“It’s nice to go into tomorrow with some confidence,” Burton said. “It’s been a long time since I shot this number, I couldn’t even go back to how long it’s been, but it was fun out there and I actually was pretty calm. I was surprised, maybe that comes with age.”
WITH ANGEL ON SHOULDER, CRAFTER’S IN CONTENTION
Long-time golf commentator and LPGA winner Jane Crafter has pleasantly surprised herself this week. With two under-par rounds she sits just three strokes back from leader Davies going into the final round of the senior women’s major championship.
On Tuesday, it was more than pure competition driving Crafter down the fairways. The news of her dear friend and Legends Tour Hall of Fame member Shelley Hamlin passing away reached Crafter before she teed off. Crafter carried that weight with her throughout her one-under par round, but found it freed her up to not sweat the small stuff.
“I’m really pleased, I’m really just trying to play one shot as good as I can hit it every time,” Crafter said. “Today, with the passing of our dear friend Shelley Hamlin back in Phoenix, I really tried to think about her and her partner and just kind of lighten the load. When I thought that ‘oh, I’ve got to do this’ you know what, I’m really blessed to be here. I kind of tried to play with a little angel on my shoulder today.”
While she’s not putting pressure on herself to capture the major title on Wednesday, she is welcoming the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Davies.
“I’m happy to be here but I’m not going to be laissez faire about it tomorrow,” she said. “Everyone in this field wants to win, there’s no doubt. I’ve beaten Laura [Davies] at different times in my career, and she’s beaten me probably more. I’m just going to go out there and do my best.”
IN HER WORDS
Laura Davies (-6, 138), on her game plan for the final round:
“You’ve got to keep being aggressive. If you start playing defensive golf around here, it’s going to get you. Hitting my 2-iron is still quite aggressive on some of these holes because they’re quite short…Just keep it in the fairway, and if you do stray off line, take your medicine because otherwise you could put a big one up.”
Brandie Burton (-4, 140), on what worked well on Tuesday:
“I just played really steady. I think I hit 16 greens, I drove the ball well and I just didn’t get too aggressive with the pins I just went at the greens and when I had the opportunity I made the putt.”
LPGA REMEMBERS SHELLEY HAMLIN
The LPGA is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of former LPGA Tour member and Legends Tour Hall of Fame member, Shelley Hamlin, who died on October 15, 2018 at the age of 69 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Laura Davies (Coventry, England) (1, -6)
- Member of the World Golf Hall of Fame (class of 2015)
- 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
Brandie Burton (La Verne, Calif.) (2, -4)
- 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 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1991
Jane Crafter (Adelaide, Australia) (T3, -3)
- Is a long-time broadcaster, currently working primarily with PGA TOUR Live and PGA TOUR Radio
- Has one LPGA victory to her name and three ALPG Tour wins
- Played on the LPGA Tour from 1981–2004
- Has one win on the Legends Tour and is on the Tour’s Board of Directors
- Finished T61 at the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship in 2017
- Finished T28 at the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open conducted by the USGA in July
Silvia Cavalleri (Milano, Italy) (T3, -3)
- 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
- Cavalleri turned 46 on Oct. 10, 2018 and this is her first year eligible to compete in the senior women’s major championship
Tournament: @FLR_SeniorLPGA, @FL_Resort, @visitfrenchlick, #SeniorLPGA
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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: 212, Trish Johnson, 2017
The tournament will again benefit 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 $630,000 for the Riley Children’s Foundation.
Defending champion Trish Johnson is T14 through two rounds.
Only nine players are under par through two rounds.
via LPGA TOUR