SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — After spending four days in the blazing heat of Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club trying to climb the leaderboard at the U.S. Senior Women's Open, Becky Iverson was ready to head home to Madison and settle back into her life as the director of golf at Bridges Golf Course.
"I don't want to play golf for a least a month," Iverson wrote Sunday in a text message to Wisconsin.golf. "I am exhausted. ... Time for my day job."
The 51-year-old Iverson showed that she still has game 30 years after first turning professional in 1989. She closed out what proved to be a 72-hole test of patience and endurance by shooting a 4-over-par 75 and, at 14-over 298, finishing in a tie for 14th place, 13 shots behind winner Helen Alfredsson.
The 54-year-old Swede shot a final-round 72 to finish at 1-over 285, good for a two-stroke victory over Julie Inskster (70) and Trish Johnson (74). Iverson was won of three golfers with Wisconsin ties to finish in the top 30.
Sue Ginter, an Appleton native now living in Jupiter, Florida, struggled to an 82 during the final round and finished tied for 23rd at 304. Carolyn Barnett-Howe, a teaching professional from Appleton, made three bogeys on each nine and shot a 6-over 77 to finish tied for 29th place at 23-over 307.
"I think these greens gave me (post traumatic stress disorder)," Barnett-Howe wrote via text to Wisconsin.golf. "I had five three-putts. I had the yips four years ago and thought I had chased them away by putting with my eyes closed. This is only a temporary set-back.
"I enjoyed the tournament and the experience. I hit the ball very well. If I had putted average, not necessarily well, I would have finished 15 shots lower. But I didn't so I have work to do."
Ginter, 53, another former LPGA golfer, enjoyed the thrill of the chase again, too, even though her Sunday started poorly and didn't get much better.
"On the first hole, my wedge hit the green, but spun off into the greenside bunker," Ginter wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "The green was so narrow and firm that I went back-and-forth between bunkers four times. Long story short, I made an 8-footer for 8."
Ginter parred eight of her next nine holes around a double-bogey at No. 4. After going bogey-birdie on Nos. 11 and 12, she finished the week with six straight bogeys to fall out of the top 15.
"(I was) disappointed to finish with a poor round, but all-in-all the week has been a blast," Ginter wrote. "(It) seemed like the course dealt me a few more bad breaks (Sunday), but I really like Pine Needles and was glad to get a chance to play here."
The LPGA Legends Tour has only six stops between now and the Senior LPGA Championship in October at French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana, including a one-day event Aug. 4 at Janesville Country Club. Iverson doesn't plan to play much between now and then; she'll savor what she did this weekend while she watches other golfers head to the first tee at Bridges GC.
"I hit 17 greens (Sunday) and no birdies," Iverson wrote. "(It was) a little disappointing to not have any birdies, but a top 15 in an open is really good for me. The greens were really difficult if you play a lot, but I (had) only played one 18 hole round this year so for me I can’t expect any better."