U.S. SENIOR WOMEN'S OPEN
Round 2 Recap: Davies, Johnson Tied with Inkster in Close Pursuit
July 13, 2018 | WHEATON, ILL.
By Ron Driscoll, USGA
World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies and fellow Englishwoman Trish Johnson shot matching two-day scores of 71-71 to share the 36-hole lead on Friday in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship at Chicago Golf Club.
Davies, the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open champion, and Johnson lead another Hall of Fame player, Juli Inkster, by three strokes. Inkster, a five-time USGA champion from Los Altos, Calif., was the only other player to better par at 1-under 145 through two rounds. Danielle Ammaccapane, a native of Babylon, N.Y., who won seven times in a nearly two-decade career on the LPGA Tour, is alone in fourth place at even-par 146 on the 6,273-yard, par-73 layout designed by Seth Raynor and C.B. Macdonald.
Johnson, 52, who won 19 times on the Ladies European Tour and three times on the LPGA Tour, made an eagle 3 on the 476-yard, par-5 fourth hole, by hitting a 5-wood from 190 yards to about 10 feet and making the putt. Her round also included four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.
“I hit a lot of good shots, some bad shots – the bad shots were pretty bad,” said Johnson, who won the Suquamish Clearwater event on the Legends Tour last month in Kingston, Wash. “I said to Laura [Davies] yesterday, you have a chance to win if you don’t make doubles, and of course I made a double today. Hopefully I won’t do that tomorrow.”
Davies played her last 11 holes in 4 under par to join Johnson at the top, and they will be joined by Inkster in the final grouping of the day on Saturday at 10:35 a.m. CDT. The tee times for Round 3 were moved up by 90 minutes in anticipation of stormy weather in the area.
“I think everybody will be nervous; everybody wants to win this trophy,” said Inkster, who won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1999 and 2002. “It being the inaugural and seeing Carner and Alcott and Bradley out there supporting this, they didn’t have to play. They wanted to play, and they wanted to support the Senior Open.”
Elaine Crosby, of Jackson, Mich., who led the way after the first round by one stroke with a 3-under 70 on Thursday, shot 78 on Friday morning and is tied for eighth place, six strokes back.
One stroke farther back is one of the seven amateurs to make the cut, Patricia Ehrhart, of Honolulu, Hawaii, who followed up her opening 75 with a 1-over 74. Ehrhart was a semifinalist in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.
Carner Misses 36-Hole Cut, Garners Plaudits
JoAnne Carner, the eight-time USGA champion who shot her age (79) in Round 1 on Thursday, slipped below the cut line on Friday, following up with a 10-over 83 to miss the weekend by four strokes.
“I never really got the rhythm of the swing today,” said Carner after her round, in which she made the turn at 9 over but was quickly derailed by a stretch of 6-over golf in four holes. “I didn’t drive it well today, so you’re starting on the wrong foot. I hit a couple of good irons, but basically the whole swing was a little off.”
Asked if she was physically worn down by walking 18 holes for five straight days, including practice rounds, Carner said, “I don’t want to admit that, but I think that’s probably part of it, yeah. I got a little stiff.”
After the round, Carner was seen giving a putting tip to playing companion and six-time USGA champion Hollis Stacy, who made the weekend at 7-over 153.
“Hollis was watching my stroke because when I’m on, I make a lot of putts,” said Carner. “She liked it and wanted to know what I do. The first thing that shocks them all is I have both thumbs off the putter.”
Though Carner shocked no one with her play through two days, they were surely all rooting for her to make the weekend. She vows to return next May when the second U.S. Senior Women’s Open is played at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
Bradley Makes Weekend With Playing Companions Alcott, King
Pat Bradley joined fellow U.S. Women’s Open champions Amy Alcott and Betsy King in a marquee pairing on Thursday and Friday, and all three made the 36-hole cut, with King at 9 over, Bradley at 10 over and Alcott at 11 over, just inside the cut line.
“I’m going to play the weekend, so I’m thrilled,” said Bradley, 67, who won the 1981 U.S. Women’s Open at nearby La Grange Country Club. “Everybody is just beaming from ear to ear playing in this event, and this golf course was a perfect venue. It’s a great walk out there, and I'm going to have two more days of it.
“I admire and I respect Amy and Betsy so much. We’ve played lots of golf together. And to share the first Senior Women’s Open with them, I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. We all made it, so we’re going to go and celebrate some more.”
Johnson’s Connection to Golf Greatness
Trish Johnson’s home club these days is Fox Hills in Surrey, England. “But my original home club is Royal North Devon, which is where J.H. Taylor comes from,” said Johnson.
John Henry “J.H.” Taylor won The Open Championship five times, and he also was the runner-up to fellow legend Harry Vardon in the 1900 U.S. Open, which was held at Chicago Golf Club. This week’s championship is the 12th USGA championship to be held at the club.
The Social Scene
Our Executive Director @GeddesLPGA (and Director of Golf @megfrancella on the bag) ready to tee off on Day 2 of the inaugural @USGA #USSeniorWomensOpen. Let’s go, ladies! 👏🏼⛳️ pic.twitter.com/Y6wok2RgRp— LPGA Amateur Golf Association (@LPGAAmateurs) July 13, 2018
JoAnne Carner walked out of scoring and gave Hollis Stacy a few tips about her putting stroke. Carner puts without her thumbs. pic.twitter.com/xHG0QSvRZn— Beth Ann Nichols (@GolfweekNichols) July 13, 2018
Juli Inkster, on what winning this championship would mean to her:
“Well, in this decade, it would rank right behind the Giants winning the World Series [laughter]. It would rank very high. But Trish Johnson and Laura are playing great. Laura is probably one of our best wedge players out here, and she’s playing very well, so she’s going to be tough to beat.”
Johnson, on the inspiration that JoAnne Carner provides:
“JoAnne is so carefree, but she’s very generous, as well. We used to play a bit of practice rounds together, and if I couldn’t play a shot, she would just look at me in that way that she has, like what are you doing, come here, and she just showed me the shot, and I just thought, oh, yeah, wow. It was so easy. And she’s in competition, but she doesn’t care and she’ll show you how to do something because I think she gets as much a kick out of that as she does out of winning. She’s 79, and she’s such an inspiration. She’s such a character. I love playing with her. If I ever saw my name in a draw with JoAnne, I’d be chuffed to bits.”
Laura Davies, on the galleries walking the fairways with the players:
“I think it’s a good innovation. I think the galleries might be a little bit bigger than everyone expected. It was really encouraging to us as players to see people still want to see us old birds hack it ’round. I think everyone walks away this week thinking that it’s a great success. Whatever happens on the weekend, this has to get bigger and better because I think it’s been great.”
Inkster, on the legacy that this championship represents:
“I just think a lot of these great players deserve the chance to showcase their wares. Everybody likes to compete. You look at Carner, there's not any give-up in her, no matter if she's 49 or 79. I’ve played a lot of golf with her in my younger days, and I've learned a lot from her about grinding and never giving up. Hopefully the younger girls out there are learning a little bit from me, too. I like to pass it down, and you've got to respect the game, and they've all really respected the game.”
Ron Driscoll is the senior manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at email@example.com.