Sunday, August 30, 2015

Davies, Inkster and Johnson Lead 

Legends Championship
FRENCH LICK, Indiana – Trish Johnson and World Golf Hall of Famers Laura Davies and Juli Inkster share the opening-round lead of the Legends Championship presented by Old National Bank. 
Eight players are within one shot of the lead heading into Sunday’s final round at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. That group includes recently named Legends Hall of Famer Rosie Jones of Atlanta and Canadian Lorie Kane, who won the inaugural Legends Championship in 2013.
Jones, Kane, Wendy Doolan, Christa Johnson and Maggie Will are one stroke off the lead at even-par 72.
Floridian Laurie Rinker is four shots back in a tie for 19th place and needs a Sunday low round to defend her title. Rinker carded a 6-under 66 in 2014 to come from behind and win.
“If someone [among the first-round leaders] can go out and shoot 66 or 67, that would be hard to beat,'' said England's Dame Davies, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame at St Andrews this summer.
Having made her 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup captain’s picks earlier in the week, Inkster is squeezing in some competition in The Legends Tour’s major championship. Off the course, the Californian is tending to her captain’s duties for the biennial team match-play event that will take place next month in Germany.
“Every night there's something I've got to do, but it’s been fun,” said Team USA’s captain. “It's stressful, but I'm looking forward to getting it going.''
Even though she's tied for the lead, Inkster called her first round over the rugged Pete Dye Course “very sloppy.”
“You've got to hit the fairway,'' said Inkster, making her Legends Championship debut. “The speed on my putting wasn't very good. I've got to clean that up before tomorrow.''
England’s Trish Johnson, winner of the 2014 Scottish Open, was the first player to post a score under par in the  opening round. Johnson struck a 9-iron from 130 yards to three feet for a birdie at No. 16, took bogey on the 17th, and then two-putted the par-5 final hole for birdie.
There were some real tough pins, although the course played a lot softer than it had before,” Johnson said.
Following an emotional induction ceremony Friday night for The Legends Hall of Fame, Jones noted this week’s competition is less stressful than preparing to be honoured by her peers.
“I was more worried about my speech than my putting before this week,'' she said. “Now that that's over, I can concentrate on what happens on the golf course.''
Playing her first event as a Super Legend (for players 63 and over), Australia’s Jan Stephenson carded an opening round of one-over 73 for a two-stroke lead over Judy Dickinson.
Jane Blalock, last year's Super Legend winner, trails Stephenson by four shots. The Super Legends play a slightly adjusted yardage than what is used in the championship flight.
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