Trish Johnson, the winner of the inaugural Clearwater Legends Cup, stands with Greg George, Sam Askew, Hailey Crow, Leonard Forsman and Irene Carper. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Trish Johnson, the winner of the inaugural Clearwater Legends Cup, stands with Greg George, Sam Askew, Hailey Crow, Leonard Forsman and Irene Carper. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Trish Johnson wins inaugural Clearwater Legends Cup

The Great Britain native won by five strokes over Lisa Grimes

KINGSTON — Trish Johnson hit par putts on her final seven consecutive holes to maintain a five-stroke lead and win the inaugural Suquamish Clearwater Casino Legends Cup June 9-10.

The Legends Cup is a major event of the year on the LPGA Legends Tour, the official LPGA senior tour for golfers 45 and older.

The rain held off just long enough for the Great Britain-born golfer to sink her final putt on 18. It was quickly followed by a trophy presentation and a few thank you’s before raindrops started falling on the pond at White Horse Golf Club.

Johnson, a veteran of the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour — she is currently tied for third all-time in wins in the latter event and the reigning LPGA Senior champion — also had a little bit of luck on the course as well.

After a rough start to day two, Johnson’s drive on the fifth hole landed behind a bush, with no apparent path to the green. But Johnson managed to hook a shot around the bush and get past another tree, with the ball settling about two feet from the pin for an easy putt.

“Nine times out of 10, I would have chipped out, but I saw a little bit of a possible gap,” Johnson said. “You win or lose the tournament there probably.”

Johnson shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday and opened day two with bogeys on consecutive holes after missing par putts from about three feet, dropping her to 4-under, just two strokes ahead of Lisa Grimes. But she quickly recovered the lead with her self-described “ridiculous” shot on the fifth hole, turning momentum back in her favor for good.

Johnson beat a field of golfers with a combined 30 LPGA major championships and hundreds of tournament wins to claim the $25,000 top prize at the $175,000 event.

“That’s one of the best trouble shots I’ve ever hit,” Johnson said.

Grimes, who was part of the final pair with Johnson, stayed within striking distance most of the way. She moved to 4-under with a birdie on the ninth hole but fell back into a five-stroke deficit with a bogey on 12. By that time, Johnson was locked in and never really made the big mistake that would cost her more strokes.

Longtime Edwall, Washington, resident Wendy Ward made her LPGA Legends Tour debut in her home state. Ward is a native of Texas and played golf at Arizona State University, but she now spends her time teaching golf and raising cattle on her eastern Washington ranch.

Ward’s strength off the tee is still evident — she was easily one of the longest hitters in the 30-woman field — but she estimated that she had only played about 20 rounds of golf in 2018 and, because of that, a little rust showed in her short game. She turned 45 in May, making her eligible for the LPGA Legends Tour for the first time, and has spent a few years away from competitive golf.

“All my birdie opportunities, I just couldn’t give them enough speed,” Ward said. “I really feel like those were key putts to kind of take [my score] low today.”

Ward said she did not have particularly high expectations for her first event. She shot a 73 on Saturday and a 76 on Sunday to finish 5-over in 10th place. While she played well, for the most part, the highlight for Ward was reconnecting with former competitors from their days on the LPGA Tour.

“It is such a joy to walk the fairways, have conversations and reminisce about what’s happened in our lives since we were on the tour,” Ward said.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com.

Washington state resident Wendy Ward sinks a long putt during day one of the Legends Cup tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Washington state resident Wendy Ward sinks a long putt during day one of the Legends Cup tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

JoAnne Carner, a native of Kirkland, Wash., and a World Golf Hall-of-Famer, follows her shot after teeing off on day two. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

JoAnne Carner, a native of Kirkland, Wash., and a World Golf Hall-of-Famer, follows her shot after teeing off on day two. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

More in Sports

Maya Nichols won her second consecutive South Sound Conference championship with a time of 19:00.20, leading Central Kitsap to a team title as well. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group).
Central Kitsap girls, South Kitsap girls win league championships

LAKEWOOD — The Central Kitsap girls and South Kitsap girls both won… Continue reading

Olympic’s Clayton Talarico tries to break free from Bremerton’s Hector Infante early in the Trojans’ 34-27 win. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Olympic slips past Bremerton on White’s late touchdown

The Trojans are in the driver’s seat now for a postseason berth

North Kitsap’s Jamison Jacobson tries to slip past Olympic’s Hanna Troy in an Oct. 18 match. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
North Kitsap now tied with Olympic atop league standings after 2-1 shootout victory

POULSBO — North Kitsap found itself down 1-0 to Olympic in a… Continue reading

Garrett Lawson won the Olympic League singles tournament, defeating Raymond Lam of Sequim, 6-0, 6-0. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bremerton’s Lawson wins Olympic League singles championship

POULSBO — Garrett Lawson was in control from start to finish as… Continue reading

Maddie Pruden spikes a ball during North Kitsap’s Oct. 10 match against Kingston. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
From Utah with love: Pruden fits right in on North Kitsap’s right side

POULSBO — In early August, a Herald reporter was in the North… Continue reading

Bremerton junior Garrett Lawson is the No. 1 seed in the Olympic League singles tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
GALLERY | Olympic League Tennis Championships, Day 1

POULSBO — The Olympic League tennis championships began Wednesday at North Kitsap… Continue reading

Baylee Anderson hits the ball Tuesday against Timberline. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Central Kitsap sweeps Timberline as team eyes playoffs

SILVERDALE — The postseason may not start for another two weeks, but… Continue reading

South Kitsap’s Jamin Cummings looks to make a pass against Lakes. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Playoffs loom for improving SK water polo team

Records improves to 8-5 with win over Lakes

Central Kitsap’s Joshua Willis crashes into the end zone against North Thurston. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Week 7 Football Roundup: CK, Klahowya, Bremerton, North Kitsap all win big

North Kitsap 53, North Mason 6 These Vikings are starting to look… Continue reading

Most Read