Trish Johnson’s Sizzling 67 Leads 5th US Senior Women’s Open | LPGA

What happened

What looked like it was going to be a table for one at the 5th US Senior Women’s Open turned out to be an open party. Catriona Matthew took a three-stroke lead into Saturday’s third round at Waverley Country Club, but at the end of the day Trish Johnson sat atop a leaderboard that was suddenly crowded with lesser players in a thrilling third round.

Mathieu’s 69 on Thursday – after just one round of 60s over the first 36 holes – surrendered Waverley Johnson’s 67, Leta Lindley’s 68 and Moira Dunn-Poles, Patricia Meunier-Lebouque and Sylvia Cavalleri. A dynamic championship weekend began.

Sunday’s final round starts with Johnson at 212, followed by Matthews (213), Lindley and Dunn-Poles (214), Nicole Zere (215), Tommy Green (216), Annika Sorenstam (217) with Meunier-Lebog and Charlotte Sorenstam at 218. Nine players are within six feet of the lead.

„Pretty much everything, really,” Johnson said when asked what she did on Saturday. „Struck the ball well and it put me in a good position. If I hit my driver well, my irons are always very decent, but the driver was the club that was good today.

Johnson has finished second and third at the US Senior Women’s Open and is looking to chase down the dream for a fifth time.

“I think I almost like the beanie [Matthew] Still leading the way honestly,” Johnson said. „It’s a bit less overthinking because if you’re leading in the last round, it’s yours to lose, but it’s not really. There are a lot of people. Moira doesn’t know how. [Dunn-Bohls] Done, but I know she’s incredibly talented. There are a lot of people who can shoot good numbers. Annika, Kriki, best player ever.

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Johnson has only one gear when playing – all out – and that’s his plan of attack in the final round.

„I really enjoy playing good golf and if I do it again tomorrow, I have a chance and if somebody beats me, good for them,” he said. „I’m not going to do anything different. Yeah, aggressively, absolutely, because the only way I know how to play is to hit it as hard as I can and hope it goes straight.

For Mathew, the disappointment of two under-par rounds — a 69 and a 71 — followed by a 1-over-par 73 was offset by his realization that the quality of his play was the same in all three rounds.

„Obviously a bit disappointed with my round today,” Mathew said. „I felt like I played really well, but I didn’t make any putts today. I’ll just go and work on it a little bit, I’ll look at it tonight and I’ll be in better shape going into tomorrow. Yeah, it’s all about playing.”

Lindley’s 68 was almost perfect. Her only bogey came at the 15th hole in three.

„I’ve been playing well all week, hitting the ball well, even though I shot 2-over yesterday, I was really disappointed because I felt like I played well,” Lindley said. “I think I hit 16 greens and got 2-over. The puddings just didn’t fall. I hit the ball well again today and made more putts.

Lindley, who was runner-up to Jill McGill at last year’s US Senior Women’s Open, finds herself in a familiar position. „I can do it,” she said when asked what she learned from last year’s runner-up finish.

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Dunn-Poles’ 69 came despite a double bogey on the 131-yard, par-3 11th hole. But her seven birds erased any mistakes she made.

„I hit my irons really well and I was very confident in my putting,” Dunn-Bowles said. „I’ve been working really hard and it paid off today. Even the rebounders I had, I was more determined than them.

The leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round is one of the most dynamic in US Senior Women’s Open history, with a ton of players in the hunt. And Waverley has proven to be a course that rewards good shots and punishes strays. How it should be. It should produce a better result.

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