Helen Alfredsson wins 2019 U.S. Senior Women's Open

USGA/Chris Keane

Helen Alfredsson wins 2019 U.S. Senior Women's Open

USGA

Helen Alfredsson wins 2019 U.S. Senior Women's Open

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Helen Alfredsson is really enjoying her win on Sunday at the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

The event’s second winner ever walked into her video interview with Golfweek with her cap turned around, a lighthearted greeting and a glass of white wine in hand after shooting a final-round 72 to finish 1-over at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.

Alfredsson shared the lead with Trish Johnson at the conclusion of the third round and most of Sunday’s final round, but back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14 dropped Johnson to second place, never to return to the top spot.

SCORES: U.S. Senior Women’s Open

Alfredsson then had two strokes between her and Johnson, but the separation didn’t give Alfredsson any wiggle room.

“I wish it would have,” Alfredsson said. “Then I would have breathed a little bit easier… It doesn’t (give you room to breathe) because it’s up to me to not make mistakes then and mistakes are so easily done around here.”

Johnson finished with a final-round 74 to finish at 3 over, tied with Juli Inkster.

Skilled golfers like Johnson and Insker at one’s heels most of any tournament can cause many to crumble under stress, however, this is where the 54-year-old Alfreddson’s experience came into play.

Helen Alfredson wins the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. on Sunday, May 19, 2019. (USGA/Chris Keane)

She wasn’t hyperfocused on the fact that she couldn’t shake Johnson or the solid short game Johnson displayed over four days of play. Instead, Alfredsson focused on her own game.

“If you start playing match play with (Johnson), you might lose with the feel with the rest of the field and then Juli (Inkster) came up to me, too, and we were at that time one (stroke a part) and one shot is nothing on this golf course,” Alfredsson said. “So I think you just have to keep playing your game as much as you can.”

Focus on her game, she did.

After a double-bogey on the fifth hole, Alfreddson rattled off 13 straight pars to finish the round and earn the win. When asked what she did to adjust her mindset after the double bogey and finish with such a steady hand, Alfreddson said she got mad. Then she kept her focus.

“Well, you get pissed first of all,” she said, “and then you think now is the time to do those things. I had some chances and I couldn’t putt. Yeah, I mean, I made pars that were crucial which I’m very grateful for. …

“Obviously, you want to break (away) from the field, but that didn’t happen. So you just keep grinding and when you look at the scoreboard, which I tried not to do so much today, I normally do, but you realize no one else is making the run, so you know it’s tough for everybody.”

The tournament’s inaugural champion Laura Davies was tied for fifth after Saturday’s third round, but finished T-9 with Lisa DePaul at 8 over after shooting a final-round 73. Davies sat in second after finishing Friday with a 70 to sit one stroke behind Alfredsson— also the tournament’s second-round leader.

Michele Redman shot the best score on Sunday with a 68, which got her into a tie for fifth alongside Jane Crafter.

Nanci Bowen was sixth at 6-over while first-round leader Danielle Ammaccapane finished T-7 with Barbara Moxness.


     

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