Helen Alfredsson claims U.S. Senior Women’s Open championship

Helen Alfredsson’s advice for successful competition would serve all of us who dabble in competition!

Helen Alfredsson may only play in two competitive events annually, but there wasn’t a bit of rust on her game at Pine Needles.

Those of us who consider ourselves to be primarily recreational golfers who enjoy wagering with friends and teeing it up for an occasional Nassau or skins game don’t need to shy away from more intense competitive opportunities. Helen Alfredsson has shown us that we can polish our games and put them to the test without fear or trepidation!

The 54-year old Swede who claimed her first pro victory at the 1980 Women’s British Open, plowed her way through her final round at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

Only Juli Inkster, who finished a disappointing T2, got close to matching Alfredsson off the tee. And the Swede led the field in GIR, hitting slightly better than 83% of the greens in regulation over 72 holes.

Alfredsson’s shot-making was crisp and confident, even when she occasionally strayed into the pine straw and the trees that line the Pine Needles fairways. While Trish Johnson and Juli Inkster both played the Championship with fewer putts, Alfredsson’s steady putting in the final final round made the critical difference between winning and finishing runner-up.

How did she approach her final round, which she started as co-leader alongside Trish Johnson, and with Juli Inkster nipping at her heels?

Alfredsson’s reflections on her final 18 holes holds some wisdom for all of us who can get distracted by the competition:

If you start playing match play with (Johnson), you might lose with the feel with the rest of the field and then Juli (Inkster) came up to me, too, and we were at that time one (stroke a part) and one shot is nothing on this golf course. So I think you just have to keep playing your game as much as you can.

If you’re a Helen Alfredsson fan, rejoice! Her Pine Needles victory punched her ticket to the U.S. Women’s Open next week at the Country Club of Charleston! She and Laura Davies, the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open champion, are both exempted to the 2019 Open. This thing isn’t finished!

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