Australians Rebecca Artis and Stephanie Na finished in a share of third place overnight in the Ladies Scottish Open being played at the Archerfield Links in East Lothian.
The tournament was eventually won by veteran English player, Trish Johnson. Johnson posted rounds of 66, 70 and 73 to finish at seven-under-par and two shots clear of France’s Gwladys Nocera. Johnson became the Ladies European Tour oldest winner at the age of 48, it was her 19th LET victory.
Artis fired a final round of six-under-par 66 to finish at four-under-par, while South Australian, Na posted a 67 to also finish on four-under. For Artis it was a great preparation for her title defence next week in Sweden, while for Na, it was her best finished in an LET event, her previous best was tied fourth in the NZ Women’s Open in 2012.
Fellow Australian, Nikki Campbell finished in the top 10 as well. The Canberra golfer carded a final round of 68 to finish at even-par and tied for seventh.
Overall it was a very good week for the Australian contingent, Nikki Garrett (73) has continued her resurgence with a top 15 result, she finished tied for 13th at four-over-par. While Bree Arthur moved up into a share of 25th position, after a final round of 72. Whitney Hillier finished tied for 45th at 10-over.
Johnson began the final round six strokes clear of the field and birdied the second and third holes to reach 10-under, but found trouble on the seventh when she drove the ball left into a gorse bush and had to return to the tee resulting in a double bogey.
Three strokes ahead of Watson at the turn, she made four steady pars before missing a four-footer and dropping a shot on the par-4 14th. After Watson faltered down the stretch, Johnson was three ahead of Nocera with two to play but the 2008 Scottish Open champion birdied the last to move into solo second place.
“With a six shot lead today, I think if I’d thrown that away in perfect conditions, well… it was a difficult one, I played pretty well but I never got the putter going at all,” Johnson 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.”
This was Johnson’s 22nd international tournament victory in her 28th year on tour, and her 19th win on the LET, but incredibly, it was her first LET win in Scotland and she credited the green staff for their superb work on the magnificent Fidra Course.
Four years after her last LET victory at the 2010 French Open, Johnson now feels that she is playing the best golf of her life and shows no signs of stopping, with the Helsingborg Open in Sweden next week.
In the Pro-Am tournament, Holly Clyburn and amateur Richard Bevan, a 6 handicapper, won with a team better-ball score of 24-under-par, while Anne-Lise Caudal and Jonathon Shinton were second on 21-under and Nikki Campbell and Gavin Corbett finished third.