US Senior Women’s Open Championship

Helen Alfredsson adds USGA champion to her list of accolades

May 16-20
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Southern Pines, North Carolina


Throughout her three-decade career, Helen Alfredsson has won wherever she’s played. Seven wins on the LPGA Tour. Eleven victories on the Ladies European Tour. A major champion. And now, she can finally add USGA champion to her list of accolades. 


With a final-round 72, Alfredsson, 54, topped Trish Johnson and Juli Inkster by two strokes to capture the 2nd U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship on Sunday at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, with a 72-hole total of 1-over 285. 

“Just to have something USGA, it feels very nice. Since one of my first years when I finished second, it was very special,” said Alfredsson, who is a two-time U.S. Women’s Open runner-up. “I know one of the toughest tests you ever will do in golf is play a U.S. Open. And I always like tough, I think. Maybe not at 54, but yeah, it’s nice to have that USGA [championship]. 

Alfredsson entered the final round tied at the top of the leader board with Johnson, who took full advantage of moving day with a third-round 66.


What started out as a roller-coaster round for the Swede turned into a steady stream of pars, many of them stress-free. After falling a stroke behind Johnson in the early going with a birdie and a bogey already on the scorecard, she hit her approach shot on the par-4 fourth hole to a foot to regain a tie for the lead. 

Potential disaster struck on the very next hole, though, when her tee shot on the par-3 fifth missed short and right of the green. The ball paused for a moment but then rolled back all the way down to the bottom of a collection area, a familiar result with the Donald Ross green complexes at Pine Needles. It took Alfredsson three tries from there to find the putting surface, and she was fortunate to walk away with a double-bogey 5.

Hole No. 5 would be the last time she would put anything but pars on her scorecard, and as her fellow competitors tussled with the challenging layout on Sunday afternoon, her position on the leader board began to look better and better. 

Alfredsson had her chances to separate herself from Johnson and Inkster, the latter shooting 2-under 33 on the front 9 to put herself squarely in the mix after starting the day four strokes back. A 12-foot birdie try on No. 11 went begging, and a sharp approach shot on No. 15 to 7 feet yielded just another par. But her round will be remembered for her bend-not-break resilience throughout the day, particularly down the stretch. She got up and down for par after missing the green with her approach shots on Nos. 12, 14 and 16, the last one coming when she curled in a slow-moving putt from about 5 feet.

Johnson, who finished third in the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club, was tied with Alfredsson through 12 holes, but stumbled with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14. She hit her third shot on the par-5 15th hole to 2 feet to move within a stroke, but couldn’t convert birdie tries on the next two holes from 20 and 25 feet, respectively, all but ending her chances.

Inkster, who was the runner-up in 2018, also had opportunities to move ahead late in the afternoon, but couldn’t quite capitalize. She had makeable birdie tries on holes 12 through 15, the last one from 9 feet, but couldn’t find the bottom of the hole, ultimately settling for a second straight runner-up finish in the championship. 

Michelle Redman had the low round of the day, shooting a 3-under 68 to tie for fourth at 5-over 289 with Jane Crafter.

Reigning champion Laura Davies, who started the day six strokes off the pace, shot a 2-over 73 to finish in a tie for ninth place.



Notable

With her victory, Alfredsson earns a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, a $180,000 winners’ share of the $1 million purse, and a spot in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, to be played May 30-June 2 at Country Club of Charleston (S.C.), should she choose to accept it. She last played in the U.S. Women’s Open in 2010 at Oakmont Country Club.

2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion Judith Kyrinis, of Canada, and Sally Krueger, of San Francisco, Calif., shared low-amateur honors with 72-hole totals of 23-over 307. Both earn exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, which will be played July 9-12 at Brooklawn Country Club, in Fairfield, Conn.

Also earning exemptions into the 2020 championship are all players who finished in the top 20 this week. That includes Donna Andrews, the head golf instructor at Pine Needles Academy, who finished tied for 14th after a final-round 71.

Alfredsson was tops in the field in driving distance and also in greens in regulation, despite being tied for 47th in fairways hit among the 51 players to make the cut.


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19th Hole
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
1
Helen Alfredsson
+1
75
69
69
72
285
T2
Juli Inkster
+3
78
68
71
70
287
T2
Trish Johnson
+3
75
72
66
74
287
T4
Michele Redman
+5
77
72
72
68
289
T4
Jane Crafter
+5
76
71
72
70
289
6
Nanci Bowen
+6
73
75
70
72
290
T7
Barbara Moxness
+7
73
74
74
70
291
T7
Danielle Ammaccapane
+7
72
75
72
72
291
T9
Lisa DePaulo
+8
74
72
74
72
292
T9
Laura Davies
+8
75
70
74
73
292
11
Wendy Doolan
+10
81
68
71
74
294
T12
Tammie Green
+11
78
70
73
74
295
T12
Suzy Green-Roebuck
+11
78
73
69
75
295
T14
Donna Andrews
+14
78
75
74
71
298
T14
Becky Iverson
+14
75
72
76
75
298
T16
Yuko Saito
+17
74
78
75
74
301
T16
Jackie Gallagher-Smith
+17
75
74
77
75
301
T16
Cheryl Fox
+17
75
78
73
75
301
T19
Laura Shanahan Rowe
+18
75
79
75
73
302
T19
Maggie Will
+18
79
77
71
75
302
T21
Christa Johnson
+19
74
79
75
75
303
T21
Cathy Johnston-Forbes
+19
80
74
74
75
303
T23
Jamie Fischer
+20
80
77
77
70
304
T23
Barb Mucha
+20
78
76
75
75
304
T23
Kimberly Williams
+20
77
75
72
80
304
T23
Sue Ginter
+20
75
73
74
82
304
T27
Pamela Kerrigan-Johnson
+22
78
77
76
75
306
T27
Carolyn Hill
+22
76
77
76
77
306
T29
Carolyn Barnett-Howe
+23
75
80
75
77
307
T29
Judith Kyrinis (a)
+23
80
76
74
77
307
T29
Sally Krueger (a)
+23
77
77
75
78
307
T29
Lorie Kane
+23
78
76
73
80
307
T33
Mary Ann Hayward (a)
+24
82
75
77
74
308
T33
Anne Marie Palli
+24
82
75
75
76
308
T33
Jenny Lidback
+24
76
77
78
77
308
T33
Hollis Stacy
+24
76
78
74
80
308
T33
Elaine Crosby
+24
79
75
74
80
308
T38
Leslie Spalding
+25
75
78
79
77
309
T38
Cindy Figg-Currier
+25
77
71
78
83
309
T40
Liselotte Neumann
+26
73
79
82
76
310
T40
Ellen Port (a)
+26
80
77
73
80
310
T42
Amy Ellertson (a)
+27
79
78
78
76
311
T42
Alicia Dibos
+27
83
71
80
77
311
T44
Dede Cusimano
+29
78
79
79
77
313
T44
Marilyn Lovander
+29
76
77
78
82
313
T44
Val Skinner
+29
78
78
75
82
313
47
Kris Tschetter
+30
82
73
78
81
314
T48
Kay Cockerill
+31
81
75
79
80
315
T48
Jane Geddes
+31
77
80
78
80
315
50
Audra Burks
+32
76
78
82
80
316
51
Sally Austin
+34
77
78
82
81
318
MC
Jean Bartholomew
+16
78
80
158
MC
Karen Weiss
+16
79
79
158
MC
Lisa McGill (a)
+16
76
82
158
MC
Missie McGeorge
+16
80
78
158
MC
Kathryn Imrie
+16
79
79
158
MC
Lisa Grimes
+16
81
77
158
MC
C.J. Reeves
+16
78
80
158
MC
Jan Stephenson
+16
81
77
158
MC
Hui Chong Dofflemyer (a)
+16
78
80
158
MC
Kristine Franklin (a)
+17
82
77
159
MC
Susan Cohn (a)
+17
81
78
159
MC
Brenda Pictor (a)
+18
81
79
160
MC
Yumi Kubota
+18
80
80
160
MC
Jennifer Cully
+18
81
79
160
MC
Barb Bunkowsky
+18
78
82
160
MC
Lara Tennant (a)
+18
84
76
160
MC
Terrill Samuel (a)
+18
79
81
160
MC
Leigh Klasse (a)
+18
81
79
160
MC
Lynne Cowan (a)
+19
79
82
161
MC
Marilyn Hardy (a)
+19
79
82
161
MC
Susie Redman
+19
83
78
161
MC
Kim Eaton (a)
+19
78
83
161
MC
Susan West (a)
+19
80
81
161
MC
Nodjya Cook
+19
83
78
161
MC
Julie Piers
+19
83
78
161
MC
Laurie Rinker
+20
78
84
162
MC
Sherry Andonian
+20
82
80
162
MC
Joy Bonhurst
+20
85
77
162
MC
Kaori Shimura
+20
83
79
162
MC
Nancy Scranton
+20
81
81
162
MC
Martha Nause
+21
81
82
163
MC
Kelley Brooke
+21
84
79
163
MC
Susan Bond-Philo
+21
81
82
163
MC
Amy Alcott
+21
86
77
163
MC
Dina Ammaccapane
+22
84
80
164
MC
Laurel Kean
+22
80
84
164
MC
Laura Baugh
+22
79
85
164
MC
Amy Stubblefield
+22
79
85
164
MC
Amy Fruhwirth
+22
86
78
164
MC
Kim Keyer-Scott (a)
+23
82
83
165
MC
Pam Elders
+23
88
77
165
MC
Ronda Henderson (a)
+23
83
82
165
MC
Marianne Towersey (a)
+23
76
89
165
MC
Akemi Nakata Khaiat (a)
+23
83
82
165
MC
Dana Bates
+23
87
78
165
MC
Martha Leach (a)
+23
85
80
165
MC
Marlene Davis
+23
82
83
165
MC
Kathy Kurata (a)
+23
85
80
165
MC
Sue Wooster (a)
+25
82
85
167
MC
Julie Harrison (a)
+25
88
79
167
MC
JoAnne Carner
+25
82
85
167
MC
Kelley Nittoli (a)
+26
92
76
168
MC
Nancy Harvey
+26
88
80
168
MC
Pat Shriver
+27
86
83
169
MC
Kim Briele (a)
+27
82
87
169
MC
Laura Coble (a)
+27
82
87
169
MC
Tina Barker (a)
+28
86
84
170
MC
Leslie Folsom (a)
+29
82
89
171
MC
Betsy Aldrich (a)
+29
87
84
171
MC
Sue Billek Nyhus
+30
85
87
172
MC
Christine Reuss
+30
88
84
172
MC
Joanne Foreman
+30
88
84
172
MC
Tama Caldabaugh (a)
+32
86
88
174
MC
Lorie Wilkes
+32
95
79
174
MC
Marjorie Jones
+34
86
90
176
MC
Linda Bowman Segre (a)
+35
94
83
177
MC
Alice Miller
+37
94
85
179
MC
Marie-Therese Torti (a)
+41
95
88
183
MC
Kammy Maxfeldt
+47
99
90
189
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