JILL MCGILL TOPS THE LEADERBOARD AT SENIOR LPGA
Jill McGill does not get to practice competitively often – she said her days are busy with her own children and teaching three-year-olds the game of golf. She was happily surprised when she finished day one of the Senior LPGA Championship with a commanding lead at -6, four strokes ahead of the competition. She took advantage of the sunny skies in French Lick, Ind. and recorded eight birdies and only two bogeys on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.
“When I’ve been at home, the rounds that I do get in, I just try to make as many birdies as possible and as many birdies as I can and not worry about my score, and that’s what I tried to do today,” said the 47-year-old.
McGill is still chasing a win, with three career runner-up performances on the LPGA Tour. Her best major finish was T7 at the 1999 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
“I wanted to throw up all day today,” said McGill on getting back into the competitive mindset. “I have nothing to lose really. We’re out here. We have a great opportunity. All the gals are excited to be here at French Lick and the Senior LPGA Championship and it’s a fun opportunity to go out and see what kind of golf scores we can shoot.”
Behind her, Rosie Jones and Moira Dunn-Bohls sit tied for second at 2-under. Jones, a 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour, said the course is a challenge but she is proud to be able to play at French Lick.
“When Pete Dye built this golf course, he was very dramatic. There’s lots of holes where you can get an extra yardage if you cut the corner but you’re really taking a lot of risk,” said Jones. “I play the best I can to use those undulations to my advantage.”
Lurking at -1 are Maria McBride and Audra Burks in a tie for fourth. Four players are tied for sixth: World Golf and LPGA Hall of Famer member Juli Inkster, 2017 champion Trish Johnson, 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open champion Helen Alfredssonand LPGA Tour winner Jane Crafter.
Defending champion Laura Davies is T14 after recording a 74.
DUNN-BOHLS ITCHING FOR MAJOR WIN
Moira Dunn-Bohls has one LPGA Tour win from the 2004 Giant Eagle LPGA Classic, and 23 top-10 finishes to her name. She last played on the LPGA Tour in 2018 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, where she made the cut and finished T55. Now at the Senior LPGA Championship, she is close to adding her name to the list of champions after opening with a first-round 70, four strokes off the lead and one of five players under par on the day.
“The front nine, it wasn’t too bad. The wind’s picking up a little bit now and I guess I was lucky to have that early tee time,” said Dunn-Bohls.
Dunn-Bohls said she is not competing as much anymore, with most of her focus on teaching and working at the club she grew up at in New York. When preparing for this tournament, she said the competitive mindset was easy to get back into.
“I don’t think you ever lose it,” said Dunn-Bohls. “To me, that’s the thing I miss the most, is having competition.
SENIOR LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP AT FRENCH LICK RESORT GIVES BACK TO PATIENTS, FAMILIES OF RILEY HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN
During this tournament week, there’s a palpable air of competition. It’s a senior women’s major championship, after all. However, the prevailing sense of camaraderie and community is stoked by the presence of the nearly two dozen Riley Kids (patients and former patients of the hospital) who are invited to partake in the week’s festivities with their families.
Some of the Riley Kids have the opportunity to announce the pros on the first tee during the golf tournament, others share their stories at the Pro-Am pairings party, others get the chance to caddie for players or just meet and socialize with the legends of the women’s game.
To learn more about how the Senior LPGA Championship gives back to the Riley Hospital for Children, visit: https://www.lpga.com/news/2019-senior-lpga-championship-at-french-lick-resort-gives-back-to-patients
Karen Stupples (T31, +5), on returning to the course in her first Senior LPGA Championship:
“It’s a weird sensation. I literally have left everything about playing tournament golf behind me. It was in the rear-view mirror. Everything was moving forward. And then this tournament has been on my radar for some time and I thought well, I need to give it a go and this year has been strange… a few ups and downs, a few hurdles along the way. But I didn’t give up hope that I could play.”
Trish Johnson (E, T6) on the strategy on playing the Pete Dye Course
“It’s one of those courses. If you drive it well – at the end of the day, if you’re playing well, you’ll shoot a good number, but if you’re not quite on it’s amazing how it can just make you a little bit negative and that’s not a good combo around here. You can’t be negative; you need to be aggressive. You need to hit a lot of fairways.”
Jill McGill (1, -6)
- In 2018, McGill finished in 23rd place at +12 at the Senior LPGA Championship
- McGill’s career-best LPGA Tour performances were three runner-up finishes at the 1995 AIG Women’s British Open, 2001 Michelob Light Classic and the 2005 Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill (now the Pure Silk Championship)
- Her rookie year was 1996; she turned professional in 1994, and qualified for the Tour by tying for ninth at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn exempt status for the 1996 LPGA season
- McGill won the 1993 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and the 1994 U.S. Women’ Amateur Public Links Championship
- She was a member of the 1994 U.S. Curtis Cup Team
- At the University of Southern California, McGill finished fourth at the 1994 NCAA Championship and was a two-time All-American
Moira Dunn-Bohls (T2, -2)
- 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.
- She qualified for the Tour by tying for ninth at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn exempt status for the 1996 LPGA season
Rosie Jones (T2, -2)
- In 2018, Jones finished in a tie for seventh at +4 at the Senior LPGA Championship
- She was a LPGA Tour rookie in 1982; she has 13 LPGA Tour wins and nearly $8.4 million in tournament earnings, and 25 professional wins worldwide
- Jones has never won a major tournament, but has finished second at the 1984 U.S. Women’s Open, the 1990 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the 2000 du Maurier Classic and the 2005 ANA Inspiration
- She was a member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005
- Jones qualified for the Tour by tying for seventh at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in July 1982