England’s Trish Johnson proved that age is no barrier to success as she won her first Ladies Scottish Open title at Archerfield Links yesterday, becoming the Ladies European’s Tour’s oldest winner at the age of 48.
Johnson rises to 11th in the Order of Merit after rounds of 66, 70 and 73, left her on seven-under-par, two strokes clear of Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera.
After closing the tournament out in one-over-par, Johnson conceded she was on the defensive during Sunday’s round, careful not to let her Ladies Scottish Open lead slip.
“I played pretty well but I never got the putter going at all,” she said. “I just didn’t putt as well as the first two days but I didn’t have the same mentality. I suppose that was because I was defending a little bit, which I didn’t think I’d do.”
"I didn’t play until Friday morning and probably played one of the best rounds of my life on Friday." - Trish Johnson
Johnson nearly pulled out of the tournament with a back injury earlier in the week. In her winner’s speech, she thanked the Ladies European Tour osteopath and masseuse Chris Wilkes and Amanda Bailey for helping her to recover in time.
“I wasn’t expecting this. I had very low expectations and I guess that worked for me,” said Johnson. “I didn’t have a practice round and I didn’t play until Friday morning and probably played one of the best rounds of my life on Friday. I’m chuffed to bits.”
Johnson impresses Scottish football legend in Ladies Scottish Open
In the Pro-Am tournament running simultaneously to the main event, Johnson partnered ex-footballer and former BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen. A five-handicap golfer, Hansen was full of praise for her performance.
“She played so well for the three days and was just rock solid,” said the Scotsman. “It was never in doubt and watching her play was a delight.
"This was her tournament right from the word go." - Alan Hansen
“This is the fourth time I’ve played with her and she hits it so well. She’s been unlucky a couple of times but this was her tournament right from the word go. She shot 66 in poor conditions and yesterday again, massively in control of what she was doing.
“Today she got the job done and it was a delight to see. She is a big Arsenal supporter and I’m a big Liverpool supporter and Liverpool always beat Arsenal so that’s why I like playing with her.”