Johnson claims third French Open for 20th career win
BAILLET-EN-FRANCE, France – England’s Trish Johnson claimed her 20th career title on Sunday, defeating Italy’s Diana Luna on the first playoff hole at the French Women’s Open.
Johnson entered the final round with a four-stroke lead but finished tied with Luna (67) at 14-under 274 after a round of 74 at Paris International Golf Club.
Luna missed her 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th, making room for Johnson to claim her second title of the season by rolling in a 3-foot birdie putt.
It was Johnson’s third French Open victory after wins in 1997 and 1999.
“There’s something about France,’’ she said.
Hannah Jun of the United States and Caroline Masson of Germany tied for third after rounds of 69 and 72, respectively, put them at 12 under. England’s Laura Davies finished alone in fifth after a 71 left her at 11 under.
After an eagle and two birdies on the front nine, Davies caught Johnson at 15 under with a birdie at the 10th hole. However, Davies ran into trouble on the next hole when her second shot landed in a bad lie between trees behind the 11th green. Two chips and three putts later, she carded a triple-bogey 7.
“I had a brain storm on 17 and hit a great shot to 6 feet and three-putted there,” Johnson said. “On 18, I couldn’t get up and down from the bunker, but it all turned out all right in the end.
“I didn’t struggle, but as fantastic as my putting was yesterday, it was absolutely appalling today. I don’t know what happened overnight.”
With her winnings of €37,500, Johnson moved to seventh on the Ladies European Tour’s Henderson Money List, while South African Lee-Anne Pace remained in top position after finishing sixth.
The tour moves to Spain next week for the Spanish Ladies Open, which is the final event of the season on European soil.
Ladies European Tour contributed to this report.