England’s Trish Johnson woke up her putter and closed out the win in The Legends Tour’s inaugural Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup presented by Boeing.
Johnson opened Sunday’s final round with bogeys on her first two holes at White Horse Golf Club in Kingston, Wash., but steadied herself with birdies on four of her next nine holes to eventually take the victory with a 36-hole score of 8-under 136.
The player from London won by a five-stroke margin over Lisa Grimes of Arizona at 3-under 141, and Florida’s Michelle McGann at 1-under 143. It was Johnson’s second Legends Tour victory.
“When the pin positions are at the front of the greens, the course is playing at its hardest because the entrances are narrow,” said Johnson, who carded rounds of 66-70 en route to her victory. “You have a shorter club into the green, but you also have nowhere to miss it.”
Coming into this week as a winner of 25 professional tournaments, including three LPGA titles and 19 wins on the Ladies European Tour, Johnson credited solid driving and iron play for her win. She missed only one fairway in the final round.
Once she rolled in a birdie on the par-5 third hole, the eight-time European Solheim Cup team member settled into a rhythm and extended her lead to four strokes with a birdie on No. 11.
“I putted so-so, but over the last 10 holes, I made the putts when I needed to and that’s the important thing,” added Johnson, who recorded par on her last seven holes to earn the winner’s prize of $25,000 in the $175,000 event.
Grimes moved to 4 under with a birdie on the ninth hole, but lost a shot with bogey on No. 12. She was never able to catch the frontrunner.
Wendy Ward, a resident of Edwall, Wash., finished 10th in her Legends Tour debut. The Texas native left the LPGA Tour as a full-time player in 2015 and has spent the last few years running a cattle ranch with her husband outside Spokane, Wash.
When Ward turned 45 and became eligible to compete on the official senior tour of the LPGA this year, she decided to enter this week’s event.
“It was a grind, but the grind was fun again,” said Ward, a four-time LPGA Tour winner and three-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member.
“I’m going to have to sharpen my skills to be competitive on this Tour,” added Ward. “I need to start practicing again.”
Rounding out the top five in the Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup was Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann and Nancy Scranton of Florida, tied for fourth at even-par 144.
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