HELEN ALFREDSSON EARNS 2019 SENIOR SLAM AT FRENCH LICK RESORT
The winds and weather were brutal on the final day of the Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank on Wednesday. With temperatures dropping and gusts increasing, only Helen Alfredsson finished the tournament under par at -2 and claimed the 2019 title in French Lick. Alfredsson, a seven-time LPGA Tour winner and major champion, claimed her second senior major of the season after winning the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open this past May.
Alfredsson birded three times on the opening nine holes, as second-round leader Juli Inkster bogeyed twice through nine and dropped from the top spot two groups behind. With just one bogey on No. 11, Alfredsson recorded a string of pars to ride out the lead until the final putt dropped on Wednesday evening.
“As all the sports psychologists say, take one shot at a time. That’s even more crucial on a day like today, and really stay out of the trouble areas which you can find here quite easy and that’s what I was trying to do all day. It wasn’t always pretty but hopefully it was quite efficient,” said Alfredsson.
Alfredsson finished T2 in 2017 and T3 in 2018, and felt a win was close on the Pete Dye course. “It was a great feeling to win the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and to get a USGA trophy because it eluded me for some time,” said Alfredsson. “I’ve always wanted to do it in the end, be strong, to be headstrong, and that’s what I’m more pleased with. When the fire gets in your belly, I meant, it goes up [in my head] anyways, playing and all this other stuff. So, I’m more pleased with that I’m able to keep it together.”
LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Inkster struggled on the back nine, with three more bogeys and only one birdie to finish in solo second at +1 after shooting a 76. It was her third second-place finish in a senior major, but she knows there is more to look forward to. “My practice swings felt good and then I get over it and it’s like my lower body was just stopping,” said Inkster. “You know what, the sun’s going to come up tomorrow.”
Trish Johnson, who watched Alfredsson accept the same Senior LPGA Championship trophy she won in 2017, finished in a tie for third with Moira Dunn-Bohls. Michele Redman rounded out the top five after shooting a 72 to put her at +3.
Only one other player recorded an under-par round on the final day. Michele McGann teed off first on Wednesday and shot a 69 to move from T43 to T19 at +11.
After hoisting the trophy, Alfredsson announced she would be sponsoring a red wagon at the Riley Children’s Hospital. “What we do with the Riley kids, you feel like you’re leaving this place, and you met all these amazing kids, and hopefully we do something good,” said Alfredsson. “We enjoy this, but more important if we are able to give back.
NOTABLE QUOTES – 2019 CHAMPION HELEN ALFREDSSON
On what it takes to play the Pete Dye Course:
“My last round before I came here was at Bethpage Black and that was a difficult golf course….This is not an easy test either when there’s weather like this, with so many difficult areas where the ball falls off and you have to be very specific where you’re at and where you hit your irons. It starts at the tee, because if you aren’t good on the tee, then your iron shots are going to be more difficult.”
What it is like while playing in windy conditions:
“The more crazy things are around, the more I seem to focus. When things are just, not too bad or not too difficult, I’m always like, ‘Oh, it’s going to work out somehow.’”….I hate to say I prefer the other way of playing, when it’s nice and its sunny, but you know what, it is what it is, and I’m super happy to be where I am, here right now.”
On preparing for competitive play:
“When you’re out here, something happens. I don’t really play at home as much. I mean, when I compete I always try to do my best and when I practice I still try to practice with perfection and being focused…I always play with boys and from the back tees so it helps.”
On what it’s like to return to the Senior LPGA Championship:
“I love to see all the girls. I’m so grateful and I think we all are very grateful for these senior events. We all get together and have an awesome time. It’s so funny – everybody comes and something happens, and the competitive juice starts pumping. But it’s a little bit easier, and we reminisce. It’s just a very nice time.”
Helen Alfredsson (1, -2)
- This is Alfredsson’s 25th professional win worldwide
- She has seven career wins and one major championship title on the LPGA Tour
- She is now a two-time senior major champion with her title at the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open and 2019 Senior LPGA Championship
- Alfredsson is an eight-time European Solheim Cup Team member and was captain in 2007
- She was the 1989 Ladies European Tour (LET) Rookie of the Year, 1992 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year and earned the 1998 LET Order of Merit title
- Alfredsson announced her retirement from the LPGA Tour in 2013 with over $5 million in career earnings
Juli Inkster (2, +1)
- In 2018, Inkster finished in a tie for 12th at +6 at the Senior LPGA Championship
- She is a member of the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame (1999) and World Golf Hall of Fame (2000)
- At the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Inkster finished solo second in 2018 and T2 in 2019
- Inkster is a 31-time LPGA Tour winner and seven-time major champion, and has made over $14 million in career earnings
- She has five wins on the Legends Tour, including one this season at the Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup
- She is still active on the LPGA Tour and made six appearances in 2019
- Inkster is a nine-time U.S. Solheim Cup team member and three-time captain, including the victorious 2015 and 2017 U.S. Teams
Trish Johnson (T3, +2)
- In 2018, Johnson finished solo sixth at +3 at the Senior LPGA Championship and won the inaugural tournament in 2017
- She is a three-time LPGA Tour winner and a 19-time Ladies European Tour winner, which is tied for third-most all-time
- Johnson has four Legends Tour wins
- She is an eight-time European Solheim Cup team member
Michele Redman (T3, +2)
- In 2018, Redman finished fourth at -1 at the Senior LPGA Championship
- She is a two-time LPGA Tour winner, with over $5 million in career earnings
- Redman played on the LPGA Tour from 1992-2011
- She is a four-time U.S. Solheim Cup team member
- Redman attended Indiana University, where she won four events
- She is currently the women’s golf coach at the University of Minnesota
Moira Dunn-Bohls (5, +3)
- In 2018, Dunn-Bohls finished in a tie for 19th at +10 at the Senior LPGA Championship
- She was a LPGA Tour rookie in 1996; her career-best performance is a win at the 2004 Giant Eagle LPGA Classic
- As a competitor on the Women Professional Golfers’ European Tour (WPGET), tied for second at the then-Weetabix Women’s British Open and finished 10th on the WPGET Order of Merit