Beginning the day at nine under par, two shots adrift of the lead, Johnson fired three birdies and a bogey on her front nine to turn in 33, and then birdied the 12th and 14th holes to reach 13-under-par, just one stroke behind the leader.

However she dropped a shot at the par-three 15th hole when she pulled her eight-iron slightly into the bunker. She played an excellent bunker shot to three feet from the pin but her putt just lipped out. She recovered with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes to draw level with the clubhouse leader and then, needing to birdie the par-five 18th for victory, she hit her 105-yard approach shot to three feet with a 52 degree wedge and rolled in the birdie putt.

“I was feeling quite sick actually at that stage. I tried not to think about anything and to just breathe. I use a ball marker that just says, “Relax!” because I’m not the best at that,” said the 41-year-old London based Johnson.

“I said this morning that a 66 or 15-under-par would win it but Bettina had an excellent score and deserved to win. Something felt very good today and I have played very well all week.

“It feels fabulous. I’ve done a lot of work with my coach Scott Margets over the winter and I had a fabulous putting lesson with Christine Langford which has helped a lot.

“I had a dreadful year last year and I don’t enjoy that. I just wanted to win again. I’ve never thought about quitting. I don’t think age has anything to do with it. You either want to win or you don’t.”

Johnson, who collected a first prize of €60,000, was invited by the event title sponsor BMW to attend the final round of the BMW PGA Championship at The Wentworth Club on Sunday, where she will present the male champion with the trophy and she said she was looking forward to it.

She also receives 40 Solheim Cup points’ as a result of her victory which bodes well for her chances of making her eighth appearance in the transatlantic encounter, which takes place in Sweden in September.