Sunday, January 10, 2016

Felicity Johnson wins by five in Australia

England’s Felicity Johnson shot a second-round 67 to win  the Mt Broughton Ladies Classic today by five strokes in Australia's  Southern Highlands following a close-up third at Moss Vale.
Johnson, who earned 4,500 Australian $, started today’s final round at  seven-under-par after a course record-equalling 65 yesterday, a shot ahead of  Sydney’s Lauren Hibbert.

"Flick" was off to a quick start this afternoon  with an eagle at the par 5 third hole, followed with a birdie on the  par 3 fourth hole to put some distance between herself and the chasing  pack. 
She stumbled at the fifth hole with a bogey after driving into the  rough but bounced back by holing a long birdie putt from off the green at  the sixth to take a two-shot lead over Hibbert, who herself made an  early charge making an eagle at the third hole. 
A bogey at the  ninth meant that Hibbert would need to make up a three-shot deficit  heading into the back nine which was always going to be a tall order,  given Johnson’s golfing pedigree and experience.
 Johnson was as solid as  a rock coming down the stretch and signed for an impressive 5 under par  67 which gave her a comfortable five-stroke win with a total of 12-under-par 132
Johnson was delighted to break through  for her first tournament victory since her win at the 2011 Lacoste  French Open. 

“It feels great to be back in the winner’s circle, I  couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2016. I have worked really  hard  with my coach in the US, Tony Ziegler, and it  shows that we are working on the right things. 
"I feel like technically I  am in a really good place with my game. I am lucky when I am home in  the UK to have my step-dad Paul Johnson keep a close eye on my game so I am  really lucky to have a great team helping me out.”
Johnson who splits her time between the  US LPGA and the Ladies European Tour, has been long renowned for her ball  striking and would be the first to admit that her putting has been the  weakest part of her game.

“I tried to be more positive on the greens this  week and it really helped. I have been working hard on my rhythm and  trying to stay more patient which I haven’t done that well in the past. I  rolled the ball really well both days and it feel great to finally hole  some putts."
Lauren Hibbert’s second place was her  career best finish on the ALPG tour, while Sarah Oh finished alone in  third place at 5 under. 

Moss Vale Ladies Classic winner Miriam Nagl  finished fourth
The tour now takes a three-day break before resuming next Thursday at Oatlands GC for the Bing Lee Fujitsu ALPG Ladies Classic.
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Par 144 (2x72). prize money in Australian dollars
132 Felicity Johnson (England) 65 67 (4,500)
137 Lauren Hibbert (Australia) 66 71 (3,000)
139 Sara Oh (Australia) 69 70 (2,250)
141 Miriam Nagl (Brazil) 70 71 (1,650)

144 Rebecca Codd (Ireland) 71 73 (750) T9
147 Eleanor Givens (England) 73 74 (213) T25
Field of 68 players